Assessment of Teaching

Assessment of Teaching wordmark

What additional services are available to help faculty assess the effectiveness of their teaching?

Research suggests that experimenting with additional ways of measuring and assessing teaching, beyond student opinion surveys, can be valuable and help instructors to improve and refine their teaching practices. The University Center for Teaching and Learning can assist with the following:

Classroom Observations
    The Teaching Center has conducted hundreds of teaching observations over the past several years. These are sometimes done at the request of chairs and deans, and frequently at the request of the individual faculty. Usually these are done to improve some aspect of teaching, often discovered in student surveys or peer observations. Sometimes these are completed at the request of a department to supplement a teaching portfolio for tenure.
Course Review
    The Teaching Center conducts course, curriculum, assessment, and syllabi reviews at the request of a faculty member, department or school. Course materials (instructional content) are a large part of the overall picture of teaching effectiveness and can be included in a course review. Information sessions on how to conduct informal mid-term assessments can also be scheduled.
Teaching Portfolios
    Graduate students in the FACDEV course are instructed on how to create a teaching portfolio. We also offer critiques of teaching portfolios at faculty request.
Departmental Peer Assessment
    The Teaching Center will work with a department to design a teaching effectiveness form, unique to the needs of the department. The Teaching Center will then train the faculty to use the form to evaluate peer faculty via teaching observations, and how to provide feedback.
Teaching Cohorts (Peer evaluations)
    Four faculty together with a Teaching Consultant work to examine, review, and enrich their teaching practice. Groups meet three times a semester, and agree to do one observation of each group member as they teach. Teaching Consultants facilitate. (Limited capacity – must be arranged in advance.)
Small Group Instructional Diagnosis
    Use guided discussions (similar to a focus group) with groups of students in some classes, particularly large enrollment courses, to collect, analyze, and report on findings from the students. The data will be turned into a report for the faculty and TAs with suggestions on how improvements could be made. (Limited capacity – must be arranged in advance)
Teaching Surveys
Consultations
    Individual faculty consultations are a foundation of Teaching Center services. Faculty receive confidential feedback provided through course, curriculum, assessment, syllabi reviews, and classroom observations. Faculty appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with pedagogy experts on the design and delivery of their courses.

Teaching Practices Inventory

Additionally, you can reference the Teaching Practices Inventory, which is a research-based assessment instrument developed by Carl Wieman and Sarah Gilbert for faculty teaching in undergraduate STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Click the link in the heading above for more information.


For more information on these services, contact teaching@pitt.edu.