Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Classroom Assessment

What is a classroom assessment?

A classroom assessment entails inviting someone—a CETL staff member or a colleague from your department or elsewhere in the College—to sit in on your lectures to provide you with constructive feedback about your teaching. Its aim is not to replace student evaluations, but rather to provide an alternative perspective on your teaching.

Classroom assessments are also completely confidential—we will only release the observations and report to you. Subsequently, it is up to you whether or not you would like to share it with your department chair (or anyone else).

Who might be interested in a classroom assessment?

Why should I have a classroom assessment undertaken? What's in it for me?

How to get started:

If the principle criterion for the evaluation is subject expertise, ask someone who has specific subject knowledge of the content area that you are teaching. By implication, you should actively exclude anyone whom you know will say only positive things about your teaching (although a subject expert might do that too!). Similarly, do not be tempted to undertake a review for a close friend in the department unless you are a subject specialist in what they teach.

However, if the principle criterion for your peer evaluation is good pedagogy (i.e., good teaching practice), you may wish to ask a colleague who has won a teaching award or simply someone whose teaching you respect.

A third option is to have one of each: a subject specialist and a teaching and learning expert. This pair could either write a joint or an individual report.

The process itself is described in more depth here.