Feed on

Believe it or not the Fall 2012 semester is already half over and now is the time to administer early semester evaluations.  Whether you’re a faculty member, instructor of record, or teaching assistant, conducting early semester evaluations can help you in a myriad of ways!  For example conducting, analyzing and discussing early semester evaluations may:

  1. Increase student motivation by demonstrating concern for student learning,
  2. Improve teaching abilities through ongoing formative assessment, and
  3. Improve student achievement by addressing student concerns.

These three outcomes may take years to achieve through constant evaluation, analysis and personal assessment but are well worth it.  

For our younger faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students there is another crucial reason to conduct early semester reviews: 


Evidence of teaching and student learning is critical to the academic process (whether it be performance reviews or job applications).  Early semester evaluations demonstrate your commitment to increasing student motivation and achievement and improving your teaching skills during the semester (as compared to end of the semester evaluations).  It can be beneficial to keep all evaluations together in a Teaching Portfolio.  By analyzing your evaluations from multiple years, you can demonstrate improvement in teaching skill and student performance on a longer time scale highlighting your dedication to the craft.  When all is said and done there is no downside to conducting an early semester review – evidence of improvement, dedication and great teaching can go a long way.

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Interested in learning more about early semester evaluations?

 The Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning has examples of evaluations and many other teaching and learning topics on their website under the resources tab (http://kaneb.nd.edu/rsrcs/).  

 Interested in learning more about teaching portfolios and teaching / learning evidence? 

There are still a few spots open to this semester’s “Teaching Portfolio Design” series.  See the website for more details and registration.

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