Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Assessing teaching effectiveness, part of Teaching with Technology.
- It doesn't matter if you teach in elementary, secondary, or higher education. There's an official evaluation process for you as the teacher. In K12, the process usually involves one or more observations by an evaluator. In higher ed, it's usually one end of term survey answered by the students. In several movies throughout this course, we've looked at the importance of promoting self assessment for student self awareness. Now it's your turn to consider self assessment to increase your own awareness of what works well, and what's not there yet. For K12 teachers, it might be interesting to learn what the students are feeling.
I've mentioned classroom assessment techniques before. One of those techniques is called the One-Minute Paper. The students' individual responses help them identify gaps in their own learning, but collectively they help you identify problem areas for multiple students. Ask students to list three things about a lecture or class activity, all in one minute: One, what was the clearest or most helpful? Two, what was the muddiest, least clear, or least helpful? And three, any comments or questions they have.
Normally you use paper or note cards for this activity. To streamline the process, why not use Twitter? Tell students they must include hashtags for: A, your class, and B, clearest, muddiest, or comment. For my face to face classes I used an online discussion forum for one minute threads when several international students asked for more time to think about what they did not understand from the class meeting. When you set up a forum for this, don't allow students to post their original threads or discussion topics.
Instead, require them to reply to three specific questions, which organizes the responses for you, the teacher. Let's say you want to use clickers or clicker apps to assess your teaching in the middle of a term. Consider a Plus-delta exercise as a midterm evaluation. First, draw two columns. The first column is Plus, representing positive, or what the students liked, and the second column is Delta, representing what students would change. Ask students to contribute their ideas verbally, or using two clicker short answer questions: what works, Plus, and what would you change, Delta.
After you collect five to ten items in each column on the board or projector, ask students to rate: A, how much each item in the plus column has influenced their success, and B, how much they feel changes in the delta column would help them succeed. You can prepare the clicker part of this activity in advance by creating Likert scale questions, plus 1 through plus 10 and delta 1 through delta 10. When you analyze the results, you'll be able to see strategies you need to emphasize, change, or start using.
If your students don't have clickers or mobile devices, you can use an online survey or quiz tool. I've described tools for making quizzes in another movie. If you use one of these tools, do what you can to allow students to submit feedback anonymously. However, some online tools exist just for this purpose. These two are free and easy to use. The student assessment of learning gains lets you collect learning-focused feedback from your students. The free assessment summary tool lets you develop anonymous questionnaires about your teaching.
You can make your own questions as well as use a database of over 350 questions related to teaching effectiveness. Want to know one of the biggest benefits to using informal teaching assessments? You get to make changes that help students before the term ends, while they're in your class. Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. How will you conduct self-assessments as informal checkpoints? For a lecture? For a class activity? And how will you use technology for a midterm evaluation?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online