Assessing Your Teaching

by Cassie Morton

Types of faculty assessment

Teaching Portfolios

These documents attempt to portray your teaching self. While more popular in four-year universities, these are beginning to enter the community college world. A teaching portfolio typically contains the following: a statement of one’s beliefs about teaching; some sample materials including syllabi, examinations, and teaching materials; student letters and comments; videotapes of one’s teaching; one’s professional development plans; student retention and success in subsequent courses (in the same discipline); and anything else one could include to demonstrate ability to teach. Some colleges are now using them as a fundamental evaluation tool.

students writingClassroom assessment techniques (CATS)

These fall under student and teacher assessment. Developed by Patricia Cross and Tom Angelo, classroom research intends to contribute to the scholarship of teaching. CATS are only a part of the classroom research proposed by Cross and Angelo. “The primary purpose of classroom assessment …is to improve learning directly by providing teachers with the kind of feedback they need to inform their instructional decisions.”

Cross and Angelo have developed a number of techniques to assess students’ values, attitudes, and self-awareness as well as any number of other course related skills and abilities. (Cross and Angelo, 1995)

Some of the more popular CATS are:

1.     One Sentence Summary - Create a one-sentence summary by answering the following questions in relation to your topic. Then weave the separate answers into one or two summary sentences.  Who? Does or Did? To?  How? When? Where? Why?

2.     The "Muddiest" Point - what was the " muddiest" Point in today's lecture? In other words, what was the least clear to you?

3.     The One- Minute Paper - please answer in 1 or 2 sentences: What was the most useful or meaningful thing you learned today? What questions remain uppermost in your mind as we end this session?