ED4700: Fundamentals of Instruction
I have taught the Fundamentals of Instruction course which is a requirement for the teaching certification for one semester to a small group of 10 students and I have collected both mid-semester feedback and administered the student rating forms at the end of the academic year.
End of Semester Evaluation
Student Ratings: Nine out of the 10 students completed the Student Rating of Instruction Instrument that is administered at Michigan Tech and is comprised of 20 items ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). A summary of the average student ratings to the two items that capture the quality of the course (item 19) and the quality of the instructor (item 20) is provided in Table 1:
Table 1: Average Student Ratings of the Quality of the Course (ED 4700) and the Instructor
Students on average rated high both the quality of the course and the instructor. This was also evident in their ratings on other items of the Student Rating of Instruction instrument. For example, students rated high the pace, the challenge, and the organization of the course. In addition, the students rated high several my qualities as an instructor such as the availability of the instructor, interpersonal communication (e.g., goals, feedback, connections with prior knowledge), and the instructor’s enthusiasm.
Students responded to two questions “What aspects of the course should I preserve that effectively furthered your learning?’ and “What aspects of the course should I change to improve student learning?” Although the responses were brief several comments were relevant to the three themes of my teaching philosophy. Click on the diagram below to view the original comments:
Reflection and Changes to Improve Teaching: If I would teach this course again I would: (a) State more clearly the goals and pace better the group work activities, (b) Suggest changing the textbook or incorporating even more supplemental readings.
EDPSY 10: Individual Differences and Education
During the four semesters that I taught Individual Differences and Education (EDPSY 10), I have collected feedback from students at the end of the semester and more informal feedback at the midpoint of each semester.
End of Semester Evaluation
Student Ratings: Students provided end of the semester feedback by responding to an instrument developed for used at The Pennsylvania State University referred to as Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE). The students rated 12 items on a scale ranging from 1(Low) to 7 (High). A summary of the average student ratings to two university selected items is presented in Table 2.
Table 2: Average Student Ratings of the Quality of the Course (EDPSY10) and the Instructor
Student ratings indicate that both the quality of the course and the instructor improved from the first to the second year that I have taught the course. This was also evident in student ratings of the department selected items. The second year students rated higher my knowledge of the content and the clarity of the explanations of what students were expected to learn. In addition, the last semester I taught this class students evaluated more positively my ability to organize classroom activities and my skill to maintain a positive atmosphere for learning.
Comments The comments are shown unmodified as they were written by students in EDPSY 10 in response to the question What did you like best about this course? I organized the comments in three categories to provide student quotes that refer to their engagement with ideas, with other peers and with the instructor. Click on the image below to access students’ comments.
Reflection and Changes to Improve Teaching: Students also provided comments to another two department selected questions: 1) What did you like least about this course? and 2) What suggestions do you have for improving this course? The main theme that emerged from students’ comments during my first year of teaching was that the lectures need to be more interactive.
Below I present some of the changes that I have implemented to make the lectures more interactive:
- Incorporated more ungraded in-class activities such as pair and share and minute paper activities.
- Revised my PowerPoint presentations by limiting the text, leaving blanks, adding questions and linking to multimedia.
- Selected short readings that presented research such as the APA press releases for classroom discussion.