Teaching evaluation involves different approaches to ensure that accurate and relevant data is collected. In general, teaching evaluation compares teaching methods to the purpose and objectives of a course. It also analyzes a teacher's personal teaching style in a classroom context to determine whether it enhances or interferes with the students' learning.
Student evaluation is currently the most common type of teaching evaluation. At the end of a course, students fill out questionnaires to evaluate a teacher's methods, the quality of teacher-student interaction in the class, and the level of the student's learning acquisition. Questionnaires can also include questions on whether assignments given are relevant and assessment practices valid.
Another type of teaching evaluation is the formative evaluation. The data gathered in this kind of evaluation helps improve teaching methods, course organization and content. Formative evaluations are conducted during the course to gauge the efficiency of different classroom activities as well as teaching methods. Formative evaluations help teachers understand the weaknesses and strengths in their pedagogical approaches.
Summative evaluations are conducted at the end of a course and their purpose is to help with personnel decisions, such as hiring or promoting teachers. They corroborate different data gathered from students, peers and teachers themselves to make an informed judgment on the course's merit and facilitate decisions about future course design and instruction. A summative evaluation refers to issues regarding the overall efficiency of a teacher, the course taught and teaching approaches to the course and student evaluation.
After classroom teaching, teachers can analyze their methods and overall efficiency by reflecting upon their performance. Self-evaluation involves critical consideration of both positive and negative aspects of teaching. Keeping a log about each class period helps teachers keep track of areas they want to improve. Videotaping or audio recording sessions may also provide teachers with opportunities to judge their teaching from "outside" the teaching process.
Teachers can ask peers to assist in evaluating their teaching in the classroom. This type of evaluation is especially helpful for teaching graduates who can benefit from the opinions of their more experienced peers. At the end of the session, the evaluating teacher can point out the good aspects of the teaching process, provide constructive criticism on aspects that need improvement and make other suggestions.
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