Why evaluate your teaching?
Hounsell (1999: 161) suggests evaluation is best seen not only as a necessary adjunct to accountability, but also as an integral part of good professional practice - contextualisation rather than standardisation. Evaluation can provide a vehicle for reflective practice: thinking critically about curriculum development and encouraging continuous improvement of one’s own teaching performance. Some academic staff have used evaluation of innovative approaches as evidence for recognising teaching achievements in the promotion process.
Reflective practice allows us to learn from experience; by taking a critical stance towards our practice we can assess past experiences and plan future developments. Here is a list of questions that could be used to reflect upon your teaching:
- Was my level of enthusiasm/involvement high or low? Explain why.
- Did I challenge the students? How?
- Did I emphasise key points?
- Was my pace appropriate? Was it too fast or too slow?
- Was my lesson appropriately adapted for all learners?
- How did the students demonstrate understanding of the materials presented?
- How did I handle student questions and responses?
- How was my use of voice and body language?
- Were the students actively engaged in the learning process? How did they demonstrate this?
- Did I set clear expectations so that students knew what was expected of them? If not, how can I make them clearer?
- How did the students perform in relation to the stated learning objectives?
- Did I find it necessary to make adjustments while teaching the lesson?
- What worked with classroom behavior management? What didn’t work?
- How did I integrate and use technology?