Making Student Evaluations of Teaching A Teaching Tool
In an article written for Carnegie Perspectives, Pat Hutchings, Vice President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, suggests that student evaluations of teaching can be more than an end-of-the-semester exercise in the rating of professors. Hutchings offers some examples of ways to make the process a learning experience for students—a way to enhance their knowledge about how they learn.
Hutchings maintains that by making explicit the pedagogical factors and qualities of teaching that will eventually go into the students' summative evaluation of our teaching, we can alert students to those aspects of the teaching/learning exchange that experts deem most critical to enhancing student learning. Students thereby gain important insight into the features of a course's design and pedagogy that are most likely to contribute to their own learning.
The article, Building Pedagogical Intelligence, can be found online at: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/perspectives/perspectives2005.Jan.htm