3.3 Formal module evaluations
University policy at most institutions requires staff to critically evaluate unit delivery, student response and assessment strategy as a matter of course at the end of each semester. In addition to this process, it is very useful to incorporate a system of personal reflective practice into seminar programmes in order to keep a continuous record of successful teaching practices and the changes that need to be made to individual sessions. When introducing a new approach or technique in teaching, it is useful to draw up a session plan that outlines objectives for the session, how the session will be organised and what you are expecting the students to do in each part of the session. This kind of plan is useful for future reference and also provides a good starting point for personal evaluation of whether the new approach is worth continuing and whether there are improvements that could be made.
It may be useful to focus personal evaluation around some leading questions that provide a structure for reflecting on the value of the session and why the session worked in the way it did. Some questions to consider are:
- Did I meet my objectives?
- Did I deviate from my original lesson plan and, if so, why?
- What were the strong points of the session?
- What were the weak points of the session?
- What modifications should I make to the session for future delivery?
- What does the feedback from students tell me?
- How did I assess student understanding?