Presentation on theme: "The Evaluation and Enhancement of Teaching"— Presentation transcript:
1The Evaluation and Enhancement of Teaching James WisdomVisiting Professor in Educational Development, Middlesex University
2Possible confusions:I will be using UK examples“Module, unit, course, programme”module, unit, course – parts of a programmecourse, programme – the whole degree experience.“Evaluation” (review of our teaching)“Enhancement” (improvement of our teaching)“Assessment” (our judgements on our students’ work)
3The enhancement of teaching? The enhancement of student learning?These two are not the same.Importance of research into the enhancement of student learning
4This lecture will be in four parts: How we usually evaluate teaching nowOther processes we could use to evaluate teachingHow HE institutions and others are using evaluation processesAll through, I will be asking how good these processes are at enhancing teaching
5Typical or traditional methods End of unit questionnaire (created by the teacher or department, or for the whole institution))Appointing a student representative to sit on the Course CommitteeComparative analysis of data about each unit, e.g.Proportions of students leaving the unitAssessment resultsComments by external examinerIf web-based - records of student activity
6Other traditional but less usual methods Peer (colleague) observationRateMyProfessors.comApplications for promotion to Teaching FellowshipsDiscussion forum if web-based
7How might any of these methods help to enhance teaching? a) End of unit questionnaire:Widespread, but ineffectiveAmateur design, un-researched questionsDefensive reaction to institutional quality processesTiming – students uncommittedPoor educational model – focussed on satisfaction with teaching deliveryBut – can lead to discussion and thoughtAn element in the annual unit (module) report and future plan.
9b) Student representatives on course committees: Need to give students training and time to do this job wellc) Analysis of data:Yes, if there is an annual reporting and forward planning process for each module
10d) Peer observationIf voluntary - very effectiveFor quality of teaching – do not use subject specialists as observerse) RateMyProfessors.comUSA and UK – claims 1.5m professor ratingsScoring: Helpfulness, Clarity, Easiness, Interest level before, Textbook use, Appearance.And ReviewsConsumer response to teacher performance
12g) Applications for promotion to Teaching Fellowships Self-evaluation valuableReal impact is from the whole schemeh) Web-based discussion forumSuitable for “blended learning” (part face to face, part web-based)Too many traditional methods adapted for the webWe are slow to devise new mechanisms for evaluation of web based courses
13Conclusion from the first section: Where the focus is on teacher performance, teaching delivery and institutional quality assurance:The traditional methods are poor for enhancementBut can be improved by discussion (with experts, peers and students) and module reporting and planning.
14Section 2 – Other processes The importance of focussing on student learning, not teacher performance, and of using well-researched instruments.A student consultation process (qualitative)The Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory (ASSIST)Student Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ)National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
15a) A student consultation process Whole programme, in year groupsExternal facilitatorThe “pyramid” discussion processWe are interested in anything which is affecting the way you are learning this course
16First - on your own:Positive points, which we should keep in futureNegative points, with positive recommendations for changeThen in groups of fourThen groups report ideas to the full assembly, for debate and recording
17Produces high-quality information, easy to use for enhancement Picks up relationships between units or modulesNotices significance of course organisationStudent-led data – a different agenda to lecturers’.Students understand their learning processes as a result.
18Topics raised at a Final Year Fine Art Consultation The emphasis of the courseThe faculty buildingInduction sessionsTutoring and feedbackAssessment and learning contractsThe organisation of the modulesEmployment or life after collegeOverseas studentsArt in the modular systemIndividual modulesMiscellaneous pointsThe private viewRelations with the staff
19Same question can be used for a unit or module, during its progress (not at the end) Or as a 5 minute, two-question paper:Three good things which we should keepThree things which we should change, with suggestions
21b) The Course Experience Questionnaire (Paul Ramsden) Course = Programme or major area of study.36 Questions on:Good TeachingClear goals and standardsGeneric skillsAppropriate assessmentAppropriate workload(Emphasis on independence)
22Course Experience Questionnaire Description of student’s perceptions of key aspects of the whole learning experiencePerceptions can be positively changed by intelligent course design (constructive alignment) leading to increased likelihood of positive outcomesCan be used just for unitsExtensive use since the early 1980s. Australian national quality assurance processSee the Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Sydney
23c) The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (Noel Entwistle - Publications pages of “Enhancing teaching-learning environments” Edinburgh UniversityQuestions on:What students understand as “learning”Reasons for entering higher educationPreferences for different types of course and teachingTheir “approaches to studying”Taking a deep approachTaking a surface approachThe effectiveness of their strategies for studying
24Not a student’s self-description of permanent characteristics. Approaches to studying will vary according to the design of the unit or programme –We can stimulate more to take a deeper approach by forms of course design and teaching.Students’ understanding of the nature of learning can be influenced, with positive effectsExtensively used since late 1970s.
25d) Student Evaluation of Educational Quality (Herb Marsh)Learning/academic valueOrganisation/clarityBreadth of coverageInstructor enthusiasmGroup interactionIndividual rapportAssignments/readingsExaminations/gradingWorkload/difficultyOverall rating
27SEEQDevised in the early 1980s.Extensively used in the USA.Focussed on classroom performance of teaching, more than analysis of contextual factors influencing student learningBest used with follow up conversation with educational advisor.
28e) National Survey of Student Engagement Since 1998.Based on factors known to relate to outcomes.The way teaching and programmes are organised can increase the number and quality of educationally purposeful activities
29Questions relating to: Learning activities – such as contributing to class discussion, doing work which requires multiple sources, discussing ideas outside class.Intellectual activitiesAmounts of work, reading, writing, private study.Activities outside and around collegeHow your college supports youQuality of relationships at collegePersonal developmentAnd many more
31NSSE400,000 students completed it in 2010Reports at institutional levelComparisons with national and selected colleges.Recognising that enhancement work is institutional, not just by the tutors alone.
32Conclusion from the second section: Research into the student learning experience is valuable and productive for enhancement.It reveals the importance of much more than teacher performance, and reveals the significance of the design of learning processes and the role of assessment.Report all findings back to students and engage in discussion about themStudent engagement is an interesting approach to synthesising the two positions.
33Final section:How HE institutions and others are using evaluation processesSupport for the development of the scholarship of teaching and learning.Promotion to “Teaching Fellow” etcEvidence of a scholarly approach to enhancing student learning
34UK: National Student Satisfaction Survey 60 – 70% of final year undergraduates reply25 question “hybrid” of Course Experience Questionnaire and other questions.Data published on “Unistats”To use information to create a competitive market for student fees, and so to enhance teaching.