Evidencing Teaching Practice

Mark GAN
Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL)

evidencing teaching
Photo courtesy of NUS Teaching Academy

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our special column on “Evidencing Teaching Practice”. This monthly column offers faculty members a common platform to share and engage in an open conversation about ways to evaluate one’s teaching practice through the thoughtful and purposeful collection, analysis, and interpretation of students’ work and other sources of evidence. We welcome colleagues to share their stories and experiences, in the form of written blog posts, on how you use evidence to improve students’ learning. You can refer to our Submission Guidelines for more details on drafting your blog posts. Please email your submissions to cdtsec@nus.edu.sg. You can also contact me at mark.gan@nus.edu.sg if you have any questions.

There has been a global rise in demand for teacher accountability in higher education, which throws the spotlight on the key question—what counts for university teachers as good evidence of practice? Equally important, is the notion of knowing the impact that your teaching had on your students, and how you can determine, with that information, where to go next in their learning. As academics with different teaching roles and duties, most of us would recognise the importance of using evidence of student learning to monitor and make instructional decisions to enhance their learning as well as to improve one’s teaching practice. However, there is less clarity or confidence in how best to collect, analyse and interpret ‘evidence of student learning’ that is rigorous, accessible, appropriate, and meaningful. In fact, many faculty members find it hard to demonstrate or make use of evidence to evaluate the impact of their teaching practice. 

Here are three guiding questions to start thinking about evidence gathering and evaluation:

  1. What do you understand as good evidence of student learning?
  2. How do you understand, collect, and interpret evidence of student learning?
  3. In what ways do you make use of evidence of student learning to inform teaching practice?

 

exam

To start off our Special Column, we have the first installment of Dr Lim Li Zhen’s two-part blog post on making effective use of ExamSoft reports to engage students from the Faculty of Dentistry in timely feedback discourse. When properly organised and planned, these assessment reports allow the teacher to provide useful feedback to students about their learning, while at the same time, inform the teacher on aspect of their own teaching practice.

The second installment of Li Zhen’s blog post will be released in February 2022.