Answer to “How can I evaluate my performance as a lecturer?”

 

As a professional, you should be responsible for evaluating your performance as a lecturer and making improvements where necessary.  You can do this through:

 

  • Feedback from student questionnaires.  While students ratings are of some value they need to be viewed with caution as they have been shown to be influenced by questionnaire fatigue, gender differences and even the appearance and personality of the lecturer

  • Student focus groups where the lecture is discussed

  • A student from another class who has been trained to evaluate a lecture and give meaningful feedback to the lecturer.

  • Observation of the lecture by a peer.  This has been shown to be effective especially where the peer is someone whose opinion the lecturer values

  • Study of the students’ performance in examinations.  This may identify weaknesses but can also be misinterpreted.  One study reported that students performed well in the area covered by a poor lecturer.  The lecture was so poor that the students had to study the subject on their own.

 

As Hartley and Cameron (1967) highlighted what is usually measured in evaluating lectures is students’ opinions of the presentation style of the lecturer and students’ knowledge gain.   Other benefits of lectures as described in Q2 are often ignored.

 

References

Berk, R.A., (2006).  Thirteen Strategies to Measure College Teaching.  A Consumer’s Guide to Rating Scale Construction, Assessment, and Decision Making for Faculty, Administrators and Clinicians.  Stylus Publishing, Virginia.

Visioli, S., LodI, G., Carrassi, A., and Zannini, L., (2009).  The role of observational research in improving faculty lecturing skills: A qualitative study in an Italian dental school.  Medical Teacher 2009; 31: e362-e369.

Brown, G., and Manogue, M (2001).  AMEE Medical Education Guide No 22: Refreshing lecturing: a guide for lectures.  Med Teach. 23:231-244.

Matheson, C., (2008).  The educational value and effectiveness of lectures.  The Clinical Teacher 2008; 5:218-221.

Hartley, J., and Cameron, A., (1967) Some observations on the efficiency of lecturing.

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