2-Minute Mentor: Using Course Evaluation Data to Improve Your Courses
- How can I use the student survey to improve my teaching?
- Is there a reason to save examples of student work?
- What is the value of peer observations?
Click below to watch CTE’s 2-Minute Mentor video on this topic:
Using Course Evaluation Data to Strengthen Your Courses: The Student Survey video transcript (doc)
Three key sources of course evaluation data
College teachers gather data on their own teaching to evaluate their courses and also to represent their teaching to others. The various quantitative and qualitative sources of data available can be summarized into three perspectives:
Data from student surveys can be meaningful, especially when an overall single summary number is avoided. (Research clearly shows that overall summary numbers are not valid indicators of teaching quality.)
A useful peer evaluation is more than someone visiting a class and writing a letter on whether the instructor was clear and students were paying attention.
Consider preparing a course portfolio, which identifies course goals or a particular “problem” to address, what you did to meet the goals or address the problem and, most importantly, your reflections on what was achieved.
For more information on peer review, please watch the 2-Minute Mentor video below.
More about using data to improve your teaching
The following links provide more information about course evaluation strategies:
- The KEEP toolkit provides tools and strategies for evaluating your courses and teaching.
- This 2-Minute Mentor segment focuses on valid and reliable assessments, a prime source for evidence of whether students are meeting expectations.
- Collecting and using data to evaluate student learning at the program or department level is explored.
Additional materials are available in CTE’s Essential Guide to Teaching.
This portfolio from the CTE gallery is focused on the process of course evaluation and redesign: Using Learning Goals to Guide Course Redesign—Michael Moody.
Some useful articles on using data for course evaluation:
- This article from the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, and the associated links, give strategies for using course evaluation data to improve teaching.
- This issue of CTE’s Teaching Matters (September, 2009) focuses on new ways to “see” student learning (pdf).
- The “triad approach” to peer review of teaching (pdf) is described (Teaching Matters, November, 2010).