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Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (2003)

Chapter:Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching

« Previous: Appendix B: Samples of Questionnaires Used to Evaluate Undergraduate Student Learning
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

Appendix C
Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching

This report has emphasized the importance of using multiple approaches in evaluating teaching effectiveness. As discussed in Chapters 4 and 5, feedback from faculty colleagues can be a highly useful source of information for improving teaching and learning. However, research has indicated that faculty colleagues can be far more effective in this role if they are trained in how to conduct peer evaluations and if they work from an accepted set of criteria.

The forms included in this appendix serve as examples of peer evaluation surveys. French-Lazovik’s (1981) form is designed to assist faculty in evaluating their colleagues on the basis of written materials that are provided in a dossier. The forms from Syracuse University and The University of Texas outline behaviors that colleagues can observe directly when they visit their colleagues’ classrooms.

Form

Found on Page(s)

From French-Lazovik (1981): Suggested Form for Peer Review of Undergraduate Teaching Based on Dossier Materials

186–187

Syracuse University: Classroom Observation Worksheet

188–192

University of Texas at Austin, Center for Teaching Effectiveness: Checklist of Teaching Skills

193–195

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

SUGGESTED FORM FOR PEER REVIEW OF UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING BASED ON DOSSIER MATERIALS

QUESTION

DOSSIER MATERIALS

SUGGESTED FOCUS IN EXAMING DOSSIER MATERIAL

1. What is the quality of materials used in teaching?

Course outline

Syllabus

Reading list

Text used

Study guide

Description of non-print materials

Hand-outs

Problem sets

Assignments

Are these materials currents?

Do they represent the best work in the field?

Are they adequate and appropriate to course goals?

Do they represent superficial or thorough coverage of course content?

Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low

Very High

 

Comments _________________________________

2. What kind of intellectual tasks were set by the teacher for the students (or did the teacher succeed in getting students to set for themselves), and how did the students perform?

Copies of graded examinations

Examples of graded research papers

Examples of teacher’s feedback to To students on written work Grade distribution

Descriptions of student performances, e.g., class presentations, etc.

Examples of completed assignments

What was the level of intellectual performance achieved by the students?

What kind of work was given an A? a B? a C?

Did the students learn what the department curriculum expected for this course?

How adequately do the tests or assignments represent the kinds of student performance in the course objective?

Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low

Very High

 

Comments ______________________

3. How knowledgeable is this faculty member in subjects taught?

Evidence in teaching materials

Record of attendance at regional or national meetings

Record of colloquia or lecture given

Has the instructor kept in thoughtful contact with developments in his or her field?

Is there evidence of acquaintance with the ideas and findings of other scholars?

(This question addresses the scholarship necessary to good teaching. It is not concerned with scholarly research publication.)

Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low

Very High

 

Comments _____________________

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

4. Has this faculty member assumed responsibilities related to the department’s or University’s teaching mission?

Record of service on department curriculum committee, honors program, advising board of teaching, special committees (e.g., to examine grading policies, admission standards, etc.

Description of activities in supervising graduate students learning to teach.

Evidence of design of new courses

Has he or she become departmental or college citizen in regard to teaching responsibilities?

Does this faculty member recognize problems that hinder good teachings and does he or she take a responsible part in trying to solve them?

Is the involvement of the faculty member appropriate to his or her academic level? (e.g., assistant professors may sometimes become over-involved to the detriment of their scholarly and teaching activities.)

Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low

Very High

 

Comments ___________________

5. To what extent is this faculty member trying to achieve excellence in teaching?

Factual statement of what activities the faculty member has engaged in to improve his or her teaching.

Examples of questionnaires used for formative purposes.

Examples of changes made on the basis of feedback.

Has he or she sought feedback about teaching quality, explored alternative teaching methods, made changes to increase student learning?

Has he or she sought aid in trying new teaching ideas?

Has he or she developed special teaching materials or participated in cooperative efforts aimed at upgrading teaching quality?

Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low

Very High

 

Comments ________________________

 

Peer Reviewer’s Signature ______________

Date _____________________________

 

SOURCE: French-Lazovik (1981).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

Syracuse University

Resource B: Sample Forms

Classroom Observation Worksheet

Instructor ____________ Course ____________

Date _____________ Observer _____________

Directions: Below is a list of instructor behaviors that may occur within a given class or course. Please use it as guide to making observations, not as a list of required characteristics. When this worksheet is used for making improvements to instruction, it is recommended that the instructor highlight the areas to be focused on before the observation takes place.

Respond to each statement using the following scale:

Not observed

More emphasis

Accomplished very well

1

2

3

Circle the number at the right that best represents your response. Use the comment space below each section to provide more feedback or suggestions.

Content Organization

Not Observed

More emphasis Recommended

Accomplished very Well

 

1

2

3

1.Made clear statement of the purpose of the lesson.

1

2

3

2.Defined relationship of this lesson to previous lessons

1

2

3

3.Presented overview of the lesson

1

2

3

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

4. Presented topics with a logical sequence

1

2

3

5. Paced lesson appropriately

1

2

3

6. Summarized major points of lesson

1

2

3

7. Responded to problems raised during lesson

1

2

3

8. Related today’s lesson to future lessons

1

2

3

Comments:

Reflective Faculty Evaluation

Presentation

Not Observed

More emphasis Recommended

Accomplished very Well

 

1

2

3

9 Projected voice so easily heard

1

2

3

10. Used intonation to vary emphasis

1

2

3

11. Explained things with clarity

1

2

3

12. Maintained eye contact with students

1

2

3

13. Listened to student questions and comments

1

2

3

14. Projected nonverbal gestures consistent with intentions

1

2

3

15. Defined unfamiliar terms, concepts, and principles

1

2

3

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

16. Presented examples to clarify points

1

2

3

17. Related new ides to familiar concepts

1

2

3

18. Restated important ideas at appropriate times

1

2

3

19. Varied explanations for complex and difficult material

1

2

3

20. Used humor appropriately to strengthen retention and interest

1

2

3

21. Limited use of repetitive phrases and hanging articles.

1

2

3

Comments:

Resource B: Sample Forms

Instructor-Student Interactions

Not Observed

More emphasis Recommended

Accomplished very Well

 

1

2

3

22. Encouraged student questions

1

2

3

23. Encouraged student discussion

1

2

3

24. Maintained student attention

1

2

3

25. Asked questions to monitor students’ progress

1

2

3

26. Gave satisfactory answers to student questions

1

2

3

27. Responded to nonverbal cues of confusion, boredom, and curiosity

1

2

3

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

28. Paced lesson to allow time for note taking

1

2

3

29. Encouraged students to answer difficult questions

1

2

3

30. Asked probing questions when student answer was incomplete

1

2

3

31. Restated questions and answers when necessary

1

2

3

32. Suggested questions of limited interest to be handled outside of class

1

2

3

Comments:

Reflective Faculty Evaluation

Instructional Materials and Environment

Not Observed

More emphasis Recommended

Accomplished very Well

 

1

2

3

33. Maintained adequate classroom facilities

1

2

3

34. Prepared students for the lesson with appropriate assigned readings

1

2

3

35. Supported lesson with useful classroom discussions and exercises

1

2

3

36. Presented helpful audio-visual materials to support lesson organization and major points

1

2

3

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

37. Provided relevant written assignments

1

2

3

Comments:

Content Knowledge And Relevance

Not Observed

More emphasis Recommended

Accomplished very Well

 

1

2

3

38. Presented material worth knowing

1

2

3

39. Presented material appropriate to student knowledge and background

1

2

3

40. Cited authorities to support statements

1

2

3

41. Presented material appropriate to stated purpose of course

1

2

3

42. Made distinctions between fact and opinion

1

2

3

43. Presented divergent viewpoints when appropriate

1

2

3

44. Demonstrated command of subject matter

1

2

3

Comments:

Resource B: Sample Forms

45. What overall impressions do you think students left this lesson with in terms of content or style?

46. What were the instructor’s major strengths as demonstrated in this observation?

47. What suggestions do you have for improving upon this instructor’s skills?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

Checklist of Teaching Skills*

Instructor: ______________ Class: _______________

Observer: _______________ Date: _______________

Directions: Respond to each of the following statements by checking the blank which corresponds to your observation.

Yes = Observed No = Not observed; would have been appropriate NA = Not applicable

Importance and Suitability of Content

Yes

Some times

No

NA

Comments

1.

Students seemed to have the necessary background to understand the lecture material

____

____

____

____

 

2.

The examples used drew upon student experiences.

____

____

____

____

3.

When appropriate, a distinction was made between factual material and opinions.

____

____

____

____

4.

When applicable, appropriate authorities were cited to support statements.

____

____

____

____

5.

When appropriate, divergent viewpoints were presented.

____

____

____

____

6.

An appropriate amount of material was included in the lecture

____

____

____

____

Organization and Clarity

7.

Stated the purpose of the class session.

____

____

____

____

8.

Presented a brief overview of the content.

____

____

____

____

9.

Made explicit the relationship between today’s and other aspects of the course.

____

____

____

____

10.

Defined new terms, concepts and principles.

____

____

____

____

11.

Arranged and discussed the content in a systematic and organized fashion.

____

____

____

____

12.

Asked questions periodically to determine whether too much or too little information was being presented.

____

____

____

____

13.

Presented clear and simple examples to clarify very abstract and difficult ideas.

____

____

____

____

14.

Used alternate explanations when necessary.

____

____

____

____

15.

Explicitly stated the relationships among various ideas.

____

____

____

____

16.

Periodically summarized the most important ideas.

____

____

____

____

17.

Slowed the word flow when ideas were complex and difficult.

____

____

____

____

18.

Did not often digress from the main topic.

____

____

____

____

19.

Summarized the main ideas.

____

____

____

____

20.

Related the day’s material to upcoming sessions.

____

____

____

____

Activities

21.

Used a variety of activities in the class.

____

____

____

____

22.

Activities used were appropriate for this class.

____

____

____

____

23.

Instructions for activities were clear.

____

____

____

____

24.

Sufficient time was given to complete the activities.

____

____

____

____

25.

The students were actively involved.

____

____

____

____

26.

Debriefing of the activity was student-centered.

____

____

____

____

© 1992 Ctr. for Teaching Effectiveness, The University of Texas at Austin

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

Use of Questions

Yes

Some times

No

NA

Comments

31.

Asked questions to see what the students knew about the lecture topic.

____

____

____

____

 

32.

Addressed questions to individual students as well as the group at large.

____

____

____

____

33.

Used questions to gain students’ attention.

____

____

____

____

34.

Paused after all questions to allow students time to think of an answer.

____

____

____

____

29.

Encouraged students to answer difficult questions by providing cues or rephrasing.

____

____

____

____

30.

When necessary, asked students to clarify their questions.

____

____

____

____

31.

Asked probing questions if a student’s answer was incomplete or superficial.

____

____

____

____

32.

Repeated answers when necessary so the entire class could hear.

____

____

____

____

33.

Received student questions politely and enthusiastically.

____

____

____

____

34.

Requested that very difficult, time-consuming questions of limited interest be discussed before or after class or during office hours.

____

____

____

____

Interaction

35.

Established and maintained eye contact with the class.

____

____

____

____

36.

Listened carefully to student comments and questions.

____

____

____

____

37.

Facial and body movements did not contradict speech or expressed intentions (e.g., waited for responses after asking for questions).

____

____

____

____

38.

Noted and responded to signs of puzzlement, boredom, curiosity, etc.

____

____

____

____

39.

Encouraged student questions.

____

____

____

____

Use of Media

27.

Writing on board/overhead/slides was legible.

____

____

____

____

28.

Information presented on board/overhead/slides was organized and easy to follow.

____

____

____

____

29.

The AV-materials used added to the students’ comprehension of the concept(s) being taught.

____

____

____

____

30.

The AV-materials were handled competently (e.g., the instructor did not walk in front of the image for overhead or slide projector; the instructor spoke to the class, not the screen or board; etc.).

____

____

____

____

Individual Style

40.

Voice could be easily heard.

____

____

____

____

41.

Voice was raised or lowered for variety and emphasis.

____

____

____

____

42.

Speech was neither too formal nor too casual.

____

____

____

____

43.

Speech fillers (e.g., "ok now", "ahmm", etc.) were not distracting.

____

____

____

____

44.

Rate of speech was neither too fast nor too slow.

____

____

____

____

45.

Wasn’t too stiff and formal in appearance.

____

____

____

____

46.

Wasn’t too casual in appearance.

____

____

____

____

47.

Varied the pace of the lecture to keep students alert.

____

____

____

____

48.

Spoke at a rate which allowed students time to take notes.

____

____

____

____

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×

Comments:

* Adapted from material in Improving Your Lectures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Used by permission.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page185
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page186
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page187
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page188
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page189
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page190
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page191
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page192
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page193
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page194
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching." National Research Council. 2003. Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10024.
×
Page195
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Economic, academic, and social forces are causing undergraduate schools to start a fresh examination of teaching effectiveness. Administrators face the complex task of developing equitable, predictable ways to evaluate, encourage, and reward good teaching in science, math, engineering, and technology.

Evaluating, and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics offers a vision for systematic evaluation of teaching practices and academic programs, with recommendations to the various stakeholders in higher education about how to achieve change.

What is good undergraduate teaching? This book discusses how to evaluate undergraduate teaching of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology and what characterizes effective teaching in these fields.

Why has it been difficult for colleges and universities to address the question of teaching effectiveness? The committee explores the implications of differences between the research and teaching cultures-and how practices in rewarding researchers could be transferred to the teaching enterprise.

How should administrators approach the evaluation of individual faculty members? And how should evaluation results be used? The committee discusses methodologies, offers practical guidelines, and points out pitfalls.

Evaluating, and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics provides a blueprint for institutions ready to build effective evaluation programs for teaching in science fields.

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