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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Evaluation of Teaching: Time to Chart the Course for 2022

- Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Charting a Course

The turning of the calendar is usually a time we report on last year, and then think about and formalize plans for the next year. As far as recurring work activities go, this one of my favorites because it forces me to slow down and think about accomplishments and where I’ve spent time. Reflecting also provides some perspective on the things that didn’t get as far as I’d hoped and can generate some new thinking and ideas that I might try instead. It helps to identify a course forward.

Evaluating like this is what we do. It can help us with focus, direction, and inform our strategies for getting better. It can work for us in our solo work, as a regular part of the teams we work with, and the larger organization as well.

Let’s talk about our Extension teaching, for example. We have tools to help us become a better instructor. Engaged in teaching as a part of OSU, we have a responsibility to evaluate our instruction. Classroom teaching uses the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) at the end of each course. Extension teaching events can use the Evaluation of Effective Extension Teaching (EEET) to assess quality of teaching across nine dimensions. To better inform your teaching improvement set an intention about how you want to gather feedback from your learners. Be intentional about how you will use this information for personal growth. What are your strongest dimensions? Study what you do and ask colleagues to help explain what you are doing to be rated so highly in them. Do the same for the other lower rated dimensions. See evaluation of teaching as more than a requirement – it is an opportunity for growth. You can learn more about EEET here.

The university also requires teaching faculty to acquire an evaluation of teaching from a peer on an annual basis too. Extension teachers (both A&P and faculty) have a responsibility to evaluate teaching in this way as well. Seek out peers who are known for teaching excellence (to be of a higher rank is no longer required). Watch them teach and ask them to formally observe you. Perhaps you want to demonstrate your teaching skills via the on-line Zoom platform. Find a reviewer who has expertise teaching with Zoom to get the most useful suggestions and feedback. Make it easier for them to help you by providing plenty of advance notice, teaching materials, and a letter template already started with the pertinent details. Learn more about peer evaluation of teaching in Extension here.

This time of year, it’s cold and dark a lot more than I prefer. What a perfect time to chart out our professional journeys that will take place over the sunny and warm months to come. There’s no shortage of opportunities!

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