DO NOT READ UNTIL POST-GRADING!
…So, you are done with grading? Well then, great! Congrats!
First, take a breath. Then, while everything is still fresh in your mind, add these few things to your to do list.
Average Read Time: 2 minutes
We know–at the end of the semester you want to cross things off your list, not add them! But after you have finished grading, there are a few quick things you can do to simplify things for your future self. Especially if that future self is gearing up for a performance appraisal. Consider these tips, upload relevant documents to UDAcademe, and you’ll be all set for a restful winter break.
Remember: teaching excellence is not teaching perfection. It means working continuously and iteratively to improve your teaching.
Compile any (unsolicited) student feedback
Did a student write you an email at the end of the semester describing how much they learned in your class? Did a recent graduate contact you to let you know that your courses helped prepare them to be successful in their job? That unsolicited feedback is evidence of teaching effectiveness! Collect it and file it so that it is easy to find for your documentation.
Another good example of student feedback are the comments from a stop, start, and continue. While this is technically solicited, it is good evidence of your responsiveness and many students take the opportunity to give meaningful responses here, as opposed to the end-of-semester evaluations.
Gather evidence of how you assessed students learning
- If you have formative assessments where you had students provide peer feedback, include some examples of these. You can scan handwritten comments or save things from Canvas as PDFs.
- Gather your final exams with your analysis of what students did well, and what could be improved. Write a sentence or two about why you believe your students performed better on one area over another. Keep these reflections to inform your future teaching, and use them to improve your narrative about teaching.
- Provide examples of feedback you provided for your students. If you use a rubric or a template, upload a copy of it. If you provide short written comments, include those that you think exemplify your approach to feedback.
- Provide examples of students’ work at the A, C, and D/F levels. Write down what percentage of students in the course scored at each level. You can present your information about grade distribution in a table, and include snippets of student work at each level in a narrative form.
- Download exemplary student work (with your comments!) from Speedgrader and file it away for P&T time. Right now it’s fresh in your mind!
Compile Student Feedback
- Collect the data from the student’s course evaluation system and write a short interpretation of what you read.
- Count the positives first. Highlight where you think you are connecting well with students and where your teaching makes a difference in their learning.
- Count the improvement suggestions and classify any recurring themes. Try not to focus on specific or ad hominem comments. What broad aspects of their comments might you want to take into consideration?
- Compare this year’s feedback to previous student feedback (ideally with the same course, but if not available, use another course you taught). You can display graphically using charts or tables for maximum effect.
- If you used your own homegrown variety of students feedback, include examples of that here with your analysis. You can even create a table comparing mid-semester feedback points to end-of-semester feedback points if you want to demonstrate how student perceptions about aspects of your teaching improved over time.
I often email a half dozen of my best students to ask them what helped them do so well in my course. I tell them I’d like to summarize their answers (anonymously) at the start of the next semester to help the next group of U of DE students do well.
That is a terrific idea. Thank you for taking time to share it. I’m going to try that.