Over a teaching career, many things will change. In the early stages of a career, lecturers will often be focussed on developing and improving their teaching and assessment skills. More experienced lecturers will undoubtedly find themselves teaching new kinds of courses, or teaching new kinds of students and so will also be faced with the need to change or adapt their practices.
As part of this process of continuous development, lecturers will be constantly reviewing and evaluating their own practice. In doing so, teachers can draw on information from a range of different sources:
- assessments and exams tell how much students have learned in the course – this can be a good indicator of how teaching is progressing.
- other lecturers or pedagogical experts can observe classes or review teaching and assessment material and can discuss whether things might be taught or assessed differently.
- other lecturers involved in a programme of study can give feedback on how courses are fitting together in a programme of study.
- students can also provide feedback on their views as to what works well in a course and what could be improved.
In EPFL, there are systems in place to ensure feedback to teachers from:
- peers, through each Section’s Academic Commission
- students, through both an indicative student evaluation of teaching and more in-depth student evaluations of teaching
- pedagogical advisors, through the Teaching Support Centre, who offer of confidential teaching observations and video analysis.
These systems provide lecturers with information that can be used to review and develop their own teaching. They also provide data that can be used by lecturers to document their teaching for promotional purposes.
Of course, it must be remembered that feedback is not the only tool at a teacher’s disposal for developing teaching. There are also a range of courses, workshops, blogs and websites that teachers can avail of.
Overall this section of the website contains:
- information on feedback on teaching from peers, including the Academic Commission.
- information on the system for Student Evaluations of Teaching and some ideas as to how to work with or respond to student feedback.
- information on feedback services from the Teaching Support Centre.
- information on how teaching can be documented for promotion purposes in a teaching portfolio.
- information on courses, blogs and other sites that may be helpful.