Teaching Assessment Tool
For lectures and small group teaching environments
Developed and written by Ellen F. Goldman, EdD., Associate Professor of Human and Organizational Learning
This tool was developed to help instructors and observers document their reflections in teaching situations that involve small group environments and lectures. It is based on the philosophy that maximum student learning is dependent on the establishment of a positive learning environment, superior class session management, and employment of techniques that promote active learning and incorporate all learning styles. Use of the tool can lead to suggestions for enhancing student involvement in class sessions; the rapport between the students and the instructor; how material is organized, presented and conveyed; and how class time is structured and managed.
It is not expected that every item listed will be observed, but rather, that each of the five categories will be considered using the bullet points as a guide. Depending on the course, there may be important items in any of the five areas that are missing and should be written in.
Suggestions for Observers
Before observing the teaching session, it is useful to inquire as to the students and their reasons for taking the course; review the course syllabus to understand the purpose of the course and the learning objectives; ascertain where in the course the session being observed falls and the duration of the course; and understand the instructor’s teaching experience, any areas of concern they have regarding their teaching, and why the observation was requested.
The tool can be most effectively used if you, the observer, are familiar with the five areas addressed and their general content. That will make it easier to comment about each section.
In sharing the assessment with the instructor, their own assessment might be invited first and then compared with yours. At the conclusion, it is most helpful to identify next steps for any areas that may need further development.