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Assessing your Teaching Practice

There are a range of tools and methods available for assessing your teaching. Contact the Eberly Center to explore these and other possibilities.

Designing and Interpreting Early Course Evaluations

Asking students for feedback early in a course can be one of the most effective steps toward improving your teaching because it allows you to respond to the feedback while the course is still in progress.

Four main steps in conducting an early course evaluation:

  1. Deciding when and how to distribute the forms.
  2. Preparing and tabulating the data.
  3. Interpreting the results.
  4. Discussing the feedback with your class.

> More on how to use Early Course Evaluations

Classroom Observations and Constructive Feedback

Having an Eberly colleague or teaching consultant observe your classroom is a potentially useful way to get feedback about your strengths and weaknesses as an instructor and to get suggestions for further improvements. To ensure that you get the most out of the experience, consider the following:

  • Meet with the observer before the first classroom observation.
  • Decide on the areas of focus.
  • Discuss the method that will be used to record the observations.
  • Arrange a debriefing meeting with the observer soon after the observation.
  • Close the Loop.

> More on Classroom Observations

Using Focus Groups to Get Student Feedback

Focus groups are particularly effective for identifying agreement across a group and for eliciting suggestions for improvement. They are also much more flexible than surveys or scales because they allow for question clarification and follow-up questions to probe vague or unexpected responses. When conducted by a skilled interviewer, who can use the interaction to motivate students to actively participate, a focus group can generate a wealth of useful information.

> More on how to conduct a Focus Group

One-on-one consultations with an Eberly Center colleague.

Consultations are strictly confidential, documented for faculty and graduate student purposes alone, and completely voluntary. We work with faculty and graduate students who are:

  • new to Carnegie Mellon and want to calibrate to our students and the institution.
  • experienced and successful teachers who want to try new techniques, approaches or technologies.
  • encountering difficulties in their courses and want help identifying and addressing problems.
  • new to teaching and want help getting started (including graduate students who anticipate pursuing an academic career).

> More on who we are and what we do

CONTACT US to talk with an Eberly colleague in person!