Give us 20 minutes, we'll give you -- well, not the world, but what your students say is helping them learn, what would help even better, and what *they* can do to improve learning in the course. Sometime around the middle of a course, you have one of us (feel free to indicate who you prefer; while we can't guarantee who will be available we'll do our best to accommodate you) come to facilitate the last 20 minutes of class, and you leave us with your students. We have them complete a half-sheet survey (http://goo.gl/2e2SDw). They pair up to see where they agreed or disagreed. Then we ask for a shout out, for each question, and put up key points on screen.
Here's the best part: By the 15-minute point, we show them their own suggestions and ask "What 2 things from this list would you want the prof. to try?" We count hands for each item, and get a rank ordered list. Work study assistants transcribe surveys (coded to protect your identity). We organize it all to give back to you. Then we have a debrief conversation with you to make sense of it, keep doing what's working, consider whether to make any changes, and prepare how you'll discuss what you learned with class. I've hear from seasoned veterans and novice instructors how valuable they found it to discuss what we can feel otherwise very intimate and private--the nitty gritty of students' perceptions (and often misperceptions) of our teaching.
Per OTL's confidentiality policy: Consultations take place only at the invitation of the faculty member for formative / improvement purposes. Any written records generated during any consultation are held in complete confidence and returned to the faculty member afterwards. At no time is information supplied by the director or any person associated with the OTL for use in summative personnel decisions. In addition, no conversation about the consultation or any other aspect of an instructor’s teaching may occur with anyone outside of the OTL. Furthermore, we do not advocate for or against promotion or tenure of any individual, in order to retain our strictly formative / improvement-oriented function for individuals.
To schedule one of us to run the midcourse focus group, please complete the form below. (Limit 1 course section per faculty member per semester.)