Feedback on Teaching

Many sources of feedback are available to instructors to inform their teaching, including: self-reflection, students’ mid-semester feedback, peer review of teaching, and end-of-term evaluations. Instructors should feel empowered to determine what methods fit the needs and context of their situation and to try out different approaches over time. Before collecting feedback, instructors should consider the purpose of the feedback such as determining whether a particular strategy is working, checking in on the effectiveness of a particular discussion, or understanding if changes in the direction of a course is warranted. After determining the purpose of collecting feedback, instructors should consider what type(s) of feedback to collect and the timing for doing so. The Poorvu Center is available to support instructors as they gather feedback on their teaching via individual consultations, facilitation of small-group feedback sessions with students, or classroom observations.

Reflective Teaching

Reflective Teaching invites instructors to examine their pedagogy, articulate reasons and strengths for their strategies, and identify areas for improvement. The process explores underlying beliefs about teaching and classroom practice through a variety of approaches, including discussions with colleagues, inventories, observations, and self-assessments. Examples of self-assessments:
  • Reflection Journals: Instructors might consider capturing a few details of their teaching in a journal to create an ongoing narrative of their teaching across terms and years. Scheduling a dedicated time during the 5 or so minutes after class to write their entries will ensure continual engagement, rather than hoping to find a moment throughout the day. The instructor writes general thoughts about the day’s lesson and might reflect on the following questions: What went well today? What could I have done differently? How will I modify my instruction in the future?

  • Teaching Inventories: A number of inventories, like the Teaching Practices Inventory (link is external) (Wieman and Gilbert, 2014), have been developed to help instructors assess and think more broadly about their teaching approaches. Inventories are typically designed to assess the extent to which particular pedagogies are employed (e.g. student- versus teacher-centered practices). 

  • Video-Recorded Teaching Practices: Instructors may request ITSPD to video record their lessons while conducting a classroom observation, or instructors can video record themselves while teaching and use a classroom observation protocol to self-assess their own practices. Some Delgado classrooms have video cameras installed for lecture capture, which instructors can then use for their self assessment. 

Mid-semester Student Feedback

Collecting mid-semester feedback from students enables instructors to consider teaching adjustments specific to the particular needs of current class(es). Comments from students provide opportunities for instructors to clarify confusion and justify pedagogical choices. Feedback also invites students to reflect on their learning experiences and reminds students of course goals and values. The act of collecting feedback demonstrates that an instructor values student voice and experience.

Peer Review of Teaching

Peer review of teaching offers a powerful opportunity for colleagues to observe one another's teaching strategies and, where appropriate, to discuss ways to better align those practices with disciplinary and departmental goals. Unlike student or outside evaluation, peer review involves co-practitioners exploring their shared trade.

Classroom Observation Protocols & Teaching Inventories

A variety of published tools can assist instructors when assessing their teaching practices. Many such tools, including classroom observation protocols and teaching inventories, have been utilized in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses and are easily adaptable to other disciplines.

Classroom Observation Protocols

Teaching Inventories


End-of-Term Student Evaluations

At Delgado Community College, students participate in online student opinion of instruction (SOI) surveys. These anonymous teaching evaluations are managed through the Office of Research and Planning.

References and Additional Resources

Osthoff, E., Clune, W., Ferrare, J., Kretchmar, K., & White, P. (2009). Implementing immersion: Design, professional development, classroom enactment and learning effects of an extended science inquiry unit in an urban district. Madison: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research.

Piburn, M., Sawada, D., Falconer, K., Turley, J. Benford, R., Bloom, I. (2000). Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). ACEPT IN-003.

Trigwell, K., Prosser, M. Development and Use of the Approaches to Teaching Inventory. (2004). Educational Psychology Review, 16(4): 409-424.

Smith, M., Jones, F., Gilbert, S., and Wieman, C. (2013). The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices. CBE-Life Sciences Education, Vol. 12.4.

Wieman C., Gilbert S. (2014). The Teaching Practices Inventory: A New Tool for Characterizing College and University Teaching in Mathematics and Science. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(3):552–569.