Development & Evaluation
The University of Illinois uses the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES), an evaluation program administered at the end of each semester to students, in order to facilitate course improvement, teaching award decisions, and course selection by students. The strategies described in my teaching statement are identified by students as evidence of enthusiasm and passion for the core content. The following data is developed from end-of-semester formal student evaluations in my five years of teaching at the college level.
Value of Instruction
Two questions are asked of every student for every course on the Illinois campus: rate the overall quality of the course, and rate the instructor's overall teaching effectiveness of that course. The following graph charts the mean of student responses to these two questions over time. It provides a general snapshot of the evolution of my teaching effectiveness across a wide range of content areas—film, literature, and rhetoric—and degrees of control over course design and texts. In doing so, it evinces growth in two ways.
First, there is consistent development in both course quality and teaching effectiveness over time, especially as I move toward more recent courses that I have designed from the ground up. Second, there is a gradual movement toward equilibrium between the perceived value of a course and its dissemination, closing the "gap" between the day-to-day quality of instruction implied by "teaching effectiveness" and the course's overall perceived value to students.
Effectiveness of Instruction
There are specific areas that demonstrate marked development across my teaching, specifically in students' perception of content acquisition, usable feedback, and agency in discussions. The graph below charts this development in courses where I was responsible for day-to-day instruction and assessment, all specific to the undergraduate English major at UIUC. Note that between spring 2012 and fall 2013 semesters, I was given courses releases from my graduate college to pursue dissertation research.
Upon return from a year without teaching, you can see little or no growth in each of these areas. Between the fall 2013 semester and spring 2015 semesters that immediately followed, you can see marked growth in each of these areas of at least 0.4 or 12.5%. Furthermore, students, suggesting that instruction effectively facilitated interdependency between content, writing, and discussion for success, perceived the quality of each of these areas as equally or near equally important.
*A note on the data
I have taught in three different programs, so the common core of questions used to evaluate my teaching vary to some degree. I frequently add additional questions of my own that ask students to assess the value of a newly introduced course text or teaching instrument to help facilitate revision of syllabi and assignment prompts. The above graphs are derived from these ICES evaluations, which are tabulated on a five-point scale. (For more information about these evaluations, their administration and interpretation, visit the CITL website.) These metrics are only some of the ways to attempt to quantify learning, and so I include the following snapshots from students as a, albeit poor, substitute for the gaps they leave.