Enhancing Teaching Skills

Every TCE questionnaire can be extended with additional questions of the instructor's choosing.  Faculty may write their own questions or adopt pre-made questions from the TCE system. 

In the teaching consultation process, an instructor and a skilled consultant (who may be a course design professional or an experienced teacher familiar with consultation) meet to review the instructor's goals, syllabus, instructional methods and devise a plan for collecting more information from students in order to explore areas of instruction that are common problem-areas or of special interest to the instructor. This may include focus groups, observation, consultant review evaluation of instructional materials and website, and may occasion using student ratings during the semester or at the end of the semester. 

End of semester can provide information of future use, since research suggests that specific instructional problems are often not limited to a single course.

The TCE system supports faculty looking for extra feedback about teaching skills.  Here are three approaches:

  1. OIA Consultation:  The Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) has consultants who are available to help faculty and teaching assistants who are looking to use TCEs to enhance or improve their teaching-related skills.  An OIA consultant can help you make a plan for adding questions to your TCE in an upcoming course and review your results with you.  If you identify areas of concern or interest, an OIA consultant can help conduct more in-depth inquiry such as conducting an instructional focus group.  OIA consultants can recommend instructional strategies and approaches that will improve learning outcomes (and improve overall ratings).
  2. Self-study:  The most productive way to use the TCE is to develop a plan to study the next offering of a course in greater depth by using additional TCE items either by request in a longer, standard TCE form or by adding your own questions to the standard Short Form.  For example, The TCE Long Form questions address important dimensions of instruction such as communication, rapport, instructional climate, testing, feedback, and discussion and is applicable in most courses, especially in those using lecture, seminar, or similar methods.
  3. Peer-support:  Again, development work using student feedback requires more questions.  Some departments have experienced faculty who offer mentoring or peer support in teaching skills development.  TCEs could provide additional data along the way and even the Short Form can provide evidence of the results when successful.