Here are five ways you can start reflecting on your teaching right now.

  1. STOP. START. CONTINUE.
    1. Getting quick and targeted feedback from your students is the best way to reflect on what is working and where there is room to improve. Use a quick CAT (Classroom Assessment Technique) called “Stop. Start. Continue.” to find out what is helping your students learn, and what is creating challenges for them. Ask students to write down (or log in something like a Google Form) the answers to these three questions:
      1. What should we stop doing? What is making it difficult for you to learn?
      2. What should we start doing? What would make it easier for you to learn?
      3. What should we continue doing? What is supporting your learning?
    2. When you collect your responses, avoid knee-jerk reactions to your student comments and spend some time thinking about concrete adjustments you could make in your course. Most importantly, let students know that you are listening and reflecting on how things are going.
  1. Survey your students frequently. While end of the semester evaluations can give you a long-range view of your teaching, it can be very useful to check in with your students more frequently. By using clickers you can close out your class with a question or two about that particular lesson. Here are some types of questions you might ask:
    1. Critical Thinking Questions
      1. Choose the “best” answer based on what you have learned today.
      2. Predictions or speculations based on a line of reasoning or argument acquired recently.
    2. Conceptual Understanding Questions
      1. Ask students which grouping of items most accurately represents a concept.
        1. “Which of the following groups contains items that would be described as X?”
      2. Choose an illustration that visually represents the concept or process just discussed. Ask students which concept the illustration or image best depicts.
    3. Class Content Questions
      1. Ask students to select the reading or chapter within the most recent unit that they found the most challenging, engaging, or enjoyable.
      2. Ask students which topics or concepts they still need clarification on prior to the text major assignment.
  1. Ask a colleague to watch you teach. While for some, having someone watch your teaching might give you performance anxiety, nothing beats a “live” experience of your teaching. Identify the one or two things you want your colleague to look for.  Ask for a suggestion or two to improve that area. Make the improvement and ask your colleague for a repeat visit and or ask students for feedback. Want even more teaching feedback? Ask CTAL for an observation by emailing CTAL-info@udel.edu
  1. Plan reflective activities in your syllabus first. More often than not, we find that we have more to do than time to do it. Plan your syllabus with strategic breaks for getting feedback from your students, and make a plan in your own calendar to regularly reflect on your teaching. Consider when the first major assignment appears in your syllabus and schedule a reflective activity (perhaps a quick-write?) that will allow students to consider how they are progressing in the course. Then schedule some time for yourself to review those comments and make a plan for future action.
  1. Follow the QUICK method.
    1. Question what went well.
    2. Understand how to get to objectives.
    3. Inquire (get feedback!).
    4. Completely honest.
    5. Keep a journal.
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