Course Evaluation - Formative Evaluation

Formative Evaluation

Formative evaluation typically occurs when changes can take place during the current semester, although many institutions consider written comments on how to improve formative as well. Typically this form of evaluation is performed by peer consultation. Other experienced teachers will review one of their peer’s instructions. The purpose of this evaluation is for the teacher to receive constructive criticism on teaching. Generally, peer teachers will sit in on a few lessons given by the teacher and take notes on their methods. Later on the team of peer teachers will meet with the said teacher and provide useful, non-threatening feedback on their lessons. The peer team will offer suggestions on improvement, which the said teacher can choose to implement.

Peer feedback is given to the instructor typically in the form of an open session meeting. The peers first reflect on the qualities that were good in the instruction. Then they move on to areas that need improvement. Next the instructor will make suggestions for improvement and receive feedback on those ideas.

Students can also participate in formative evaluation. Student evaluations are formative when their purpose is to help faculty members improve and enhance their teaching skills. The teachers may require their students to complete written evaluation, participate in ongoing dialogue or directed discussions during the course of the semester. At the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Vienna, Twitter was used for formative course evaluation.

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