ERIC Number: EJ778661
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct-26
Reference Count: N/A
How Am I Doing?
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n9 pA10 Oct 2007
Since the arrival of RateMyProfessors.com, many a faculty member has wished his students would keep their opinions to themselves. At Brigham Young University, however, the university pays undergrads to give professors a piece of their mind. Each year the university's Students Consulting on Teaching program employs 25 students to observe professors' classroom performance and reflect back to them the view from the students in the seats. The program began in 1991 as a class project in an education course and proved so popular with both faculty members and students that, a year later, it was adopted university-wide. The program now helps about 80 instructors per year fine-tune their teaching, says D. Lynn Sorenson, its director. The Utah university has about 1,300 full-time faculty members. At other colleges, the function of observing and evaluating teaching technique is generally left to experienced professionals. Folks at Brigham Young say student observers are less threatening to faculty members than peer evaluators and provide a perspective that even education specialists canot. "We are experts in what it's like to be a student," says Paul Dixon, a senior who served as the program's student coordinator for the past two years. Many professors, he says, have not been on the receiving end of a lecture for years. "The program answers the question of what it is like to be a student in your class," says Mr. Dixon. "Often the professor finds his or her perception is very different from what it's actually like."
Descriptors: College Faculty, Instructional Improvement, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Teacher Effectiveness, Program Effectiveness, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India