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In general, it is standard (and useful) to distinguish between the following "assessment-type" activities:
Assessment: Generally designed to help a faculty member reach a clearer appraisal of how a course is going in general or in any particular area. Assessments are used to provide feedback to the instructor without the concern that this will be used in a formal "evaluation" of his/her teaching for purposes of salary or promotion. Teaching assessment often takes place throughout a semester, most frequently at the mid-point of the term.

Evaluation: Usually refers to the formal process of reviewing teaching that is directly linked to salary review or promotion. Evaluation by students always takes place at the end of the term. Peer evaluation can take place at any point in the semester.

It is furthermore important to distinguish between the evaluation/assessment which we receive from our students and the peer evaluation/assessment which comes from our colleagues. All of these different areas (peer evaluation; peer assessment; student evaluation; student assessment) require some thought and, most likely, different approaches (instruments, amount of time, etc.)



A. Evaluation

Oberlin faculty legislation requires student evaluations of every course at the end of the semester, but no single form is mandated. The following information and links can provide you with a way of thinking about the utility of teaching evaluations and, absent a mandated form from the College, how to construct an evaluation form that can provide the best information you need to represent and improve your teaching.

Thinking about Teaching Evaluations (Patty deWinstanley, Dept. of Psychology, Oberlin College)

External Links on the Evaluation of Teaching and Courses

Student Rating Forms (Commentary on the literature of teaching evaluation, discussion of questionnaire design, administration, interpretation and references) (Tools for Teaching, Barbara Gross Davis, University of California, Berkeley)

Evaluation Forms from other Colleges and Universities

Class and Teacher Evaluation (Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University)

Course Evaluation Forms (Carleton College)

Various types of evaluative forms (discussion, laboratory, lecture, project, studio) as well as two-question open-ended forms (Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University)

B. Assessment

Mid-term or Periodic Assessment

Mid-term evaluations (University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching)

Mid-semester assessment (Providence College)

"Muddy Point" Evaluations (Brian Alegant, Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College)

"Minute Papers" in a large class (James Craig, Dept. of Psychology, Indiana University)

Classroom assessment techniques (Office of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculties, Indiana University)

Classroom Assessment

Evaluating Your Own Teaching (L. Dee Fink)

Classroom Assessment Techniques (Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross)

last updated 11 September 2003
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