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The instructor is the determining factor on how students learn and understand best teaching guidelines which will help students to read and understand content taught in class. When the instructor understands his students well, he can change teaching tactics depending on the circumstances and the level of difficulty of the subject. The instructor has to carry out a constant evaluation of the learning needs of students which will help him to plan on the effectiveness of teaching.
Effectiveness of teaching
According to Ornstein, Thomas & Lasley (1999), this originates from proper planning and this is what helps us to distinguish the best from an average teacher. Each instructor should be in a position to give personal ratings that depend on the span of teaching and the challenges encountered. After this, considerations can be given depending on the changes in teaching methods as demanded by students. In comparison with an average teacher, the best teacher will:
- Make students enthusiastic to attend his class.
- Use different teaching techniques and methods that suit different learning environments.
- Combine different teaching aids to help students learn quickly difficult case studies.
- Make learning objectives and goals clear and easy to disseminate topic after another.
Effectiveness of our teaching begins with assigning weights to various learning factors like self-evaluation, student evaluation, peer evaluation then lastly other factors like courses, support from the department and overly co-ordination with fellow teachers in the department.
The self-evaluation process begins with an examination of self-teaching styles and tactics as compared to other instructors. The comparison will be obtained from videotaped classes, which are in progress. The instructor should thereafter organize peer evaluation. This helps because the peers will be in a position to give remarks about the content and organization of the classes and how the students enjoyed the learning.
This is a portfolio evaluation since it gives an account of the currency of information, appropriateness of organization, informativeness of the content and syllabus coverage. The process requires that the instructor and students to be videotaped and comparisons can be made showing how the learning took place and the instructor can adjust accordingly about how other instructors are doing their work (Marzano et al., 2004).
After a peer evaluation exercise, the instructor should carry out the following procedures to help in ensuring effectiveness in teaching.
- Carry out an individual assessment on the quality of the teaching in comparison to laid out project teaching guidelines from the department.
- Re-evaluation of class teaching materials and teaching aids and contribute towards working out for a new teaching curriculum that is all-inclusive.
- Organize and supervise students to work in groups, this will help them educate one another in areas they did not understand well when the instructor was teaching.
- Carry out one on one and individual teaching of students with learning problems on some topics. This will motivate the whole class to look forward to more learning.
The student evaluation process will begin by giving students class assignments and assessing how they respond to class questions and thereafter giving them SPHS and some well modified but well-constituted forms to fill information about appropriateness of lectures (Wong & Wong, 2009). Contents include:
- Effectiveness of the class as a learning instrument to students.
- The relevancy and quality of teaching methods as an aid to passing exams.
- How the instructor focuses on students learning abilities.
Under effectiveness, the students will explain whether course readings were of any assistance to them depending on how the instructor presented the information. They will give an account on the effectiveness of assignments given and how they assisted them to cover the course syllabus, they will also explain how the instructor assisted them by clearing up any confusion arising from learning that subject and the students will give an account on how they enjoy the classes.
From the SPHS forms, the students will give feedback on the variety of teaching methods used, overall quality of assignments in comparison to exams and the overall quality of the instructor in helping students to grasp issues in class. Students should be able to give an account on how the instructor stimulates useful class discussions, helps the students to learn, how interested the instructor is in availing himself to students after class to assist the needy ones to learn.
Class assignments also form the starting point to asses and evaluate teaching and student learning abilities in class. The frequency of the assignments should be high if possible every week or at the end of every major topic. The main goal is to assess if the students are grasping leaning contents well and if not, the instructor should change teaching tactics (Gordon & Burch, 2003).
A proper evaluation incorporates external observers who can be colleagues and other peers teaching in different places. An individual assessment is ok but if one relies on it too much, you may not be in a position to provide standard education to students.
Gordon, T.T., & Burch, N. (2003). Teacher effectiveness training: the program proven to help teachers bring out the best in students of all ages. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2004). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (1st ed.). Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Ornstein, A.C.,Thomas, J., & Lasley, T.J. (1999). Strategies for Effective Teaching (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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Wong, H. K., & Wong, R.T. (2009). The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher. California: Harry K. Wong Publications.