Teachers Assessing Themselves

Teachers Assessing Themselves
Along with videos being used to primarily teach training teachers, videos are also being used to assess experienced and beginning teachers. Teachers now have the capability and technology to record a lecture they give. They can go back and review the video and see the positive and negative ways their teaching affects the classroom. A program, AfL that stands for Assessment for Learning, uses video recordings of lessons and interviews with teachers to show how teachers interact with their classroom. According to Bethan Marshall and Mary Jane Drummond of King’s College London and University of Cambridge, respectively, AfL shows whether the teacher or professor promotes student education (137). “A distinction is drawn between lessons that embody the ‘spirit’ of AfL and those that conform only to the ‘letter’” (Marshall, Drummond 133). It shows if the teacher truly cares about the student’s learning and progression in education or just about the grades the students receive in the class/course. AfL also takes into consideration whether the teachers’ beliefs about learning contribute to the different ways in which they interpret the procedures of AfL. “Interviews with teachers indicated that those whose lessons captured the spirit of AfL were more likely to take responsibility for success and failure in the promotion of pupil autonomy. Thus they had a sense of their own agency and sought to use it to overcome barriers to learning” (Marshall, Drummond 133). If a teacher feels responsible for the students’ learning, then they take the time to make sure that their students understand the material. They use different methods such as videos, demonstrations, diagrams, etc to make sure the students have a clear understanding of what is being covered in class. “Results of teachers using video playback suggest that the digital video innovation brought about changes in student–teacher interactions in science practical work and assisted the teacher in reflecting on her professional learning” (Tan, Towndrow 61). Especially in college-level classes with a few hundred kids in the lecture hall, it can be intimidating going up and talking to the professor. Student’s feel insignificant and by having programs where the teacher believes the success of his class relies solely on his teaching, makes the class feel a lot smaller. If a professor wants to take the extra time to make sure all his students understand the information, it makes all the pupils feel important and take the extra steps to comprehend the material.
At University of Colorado at Boulder, teachers use a program called Faculty Teaching Excellence Program or FTEP. This program “promotes excellence in the service of student learning through its initiatives, workshops, symposia, individual consultations to faculty and research in undergraduate learning and in academic development for the faculty” (“The Role of the Faculty”). After interviewing Dr. Lisa Barlow Baker Residential Academic Program department of Geological Science and Environmental Studies, she states that the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program really assists in her overall teaching. She records herself lecturing her Baker Residential Academic Program class, and goes back to view it. When asked if the program is beneficial, she said, “oh sure, sure it’s helpful. You learn things you don’t pick up on on how you teach.” She also stated that it is kind of nerve-racking, but she is able to see a lot of the errors she has made while teaching the class such as standing in one place for too long and any other annoying habit. It benefits her teaching and the overall classroom environment. After interviewing Dr. Nick Schneider from the department Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences he also has a similar opinion on the use of the Program of Excellency. Dr Schneider states that, “to see what you look like up there in the classroom can be a little shocking and a little eye opening, but really helpful.” Teaching a large lecture hall, the program helps him see the mistakes and strengths he has as a teacher.

By Claudia Mroczkowski

"The Role of the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program and the Promise of Student Engagement in Interactive Learning." University of Colorado at Boulder. Web. 03 Dec. 2010. <http://www.colorado.edu/ftep/about/RoleoftheProgram1.html>.

Marshall, Bethan, and Mary Jane Drummond. "How teachers engage with Assessment for Learning: lessons from the classroom." Research Papers in Education 21.2 (2006): 133-149. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.

Tan, Aik Ling, and Phillip A. Towndrow. "Catalyzing student–teacher interactions and teacher learning in science practical formative assessment with digital video technology." Teaching & Teacher Education 25.1 (2009): 61-67. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.