Assess Your Teaching

Classroom assessment is a useful tool for improving your teaching.  For example, if you administer an assessment (see previous sections for examples of classroom assessment methods) and a large portion of students are deficient in a given area, you can reflect on why students have not acquired the intended knowledge, understanding, or skills. This reflective process can provide teachers with insights about how they can adjust instruction in the future.  If students share common misconceptions about a topic, a teacher may wish to re-teach the topic and/or may choose to use a different instructional strategy to convey the information. If you are having trouble understanding why students may hold misconceptions following instruction, you may ask students to indicate why they responded the way they did on a classroom assessment. 

After you have analyzed your classroom assessment data, you should provide students with information about what you learned from examining their responses (e.g., common misconceptions) and how you plan to use that information.  If the sole purpose of an assessment is to improve your teaching (rather than to provide students with feedback or to grade students), you may want to consider administering assessments anonymously to minimize the pressure that students experience to successfully complete the assessment or to provide positive feedback. This section of the module provides information about a few assessment methods that you may want to consider using in your pedagogy class to assess the effectiveness of your teaching, though assessments that measure student learning should also be used to inform your teaching. 

Student Evaluations

Student evaluations can be administered during the semester as well as at the end of the semester.  This allows students to provide you with feedback about the course and your instruction, which can be helpful especially at mid-semester when you can make adjustments before the course ends.  Even at the end of the semester, though, student ratings and comments can inform course improvements for future semesters. Seeking feedback from students during the semester also indicates to students that you care about their learning and sets a good example for pedagogy students. 

Additionally, you can use the Mid-semester Course Survey in Canvas to gain insight in the midst of the semester.  If you are interested, view the Canvas  tutorial on how to create a mid-semetster survey.  You could easily modify this form to collect information at the end of the semester in addition to the Course Instructor Survey.

At the end of the semester, UT requires course instructors to use the Course Instructor Survey for students to evaluate the course.  You may consider adding your own survey items at the end of your CIS, potentially items that you included on your Ongoing Course Assessment survey.