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Assessing the Department through Classroom Peer-Evaluation

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Abstract:

Faculty have been concerned about the effectiveness of their teaching and have worked to assess the quality of student learning, since teachers began thinking about pedagogy. Over the last thirty years, the development of such student-centered pedagogies as service learning, role-playing and simulations, discussions, internships, and civic engagement programs demonstrate our concern that students are invested in their own education. Simultaneously, political science departments have responded very negatively to assessment requirements and externally mandated program review, often seeing it as intrusive and pointless.

Effective forms of student evaluation can be used to develop departmental assessment programs in a manner that most faculty can endorse. Using a peer-review approach to demonstrate the connections between classroom outcomes and departmental objectives, this presentation will provide practical advice and concrete tools that can be widely adapted.

The two specific tools presented enable the professor to 1) assess student learning in simulations and discussion in a particular class; 2) teach students how to be more sophisticated participants in a discussion or role players in a simulation; 3) help students become more accountable for their own learning; 4) provide regular feedback to students during the semester, allowing for skill improvement; 5) communicate expectations for classroom performance; and 6) evaluate student improvement in targeted skills over time. Many faculty regularly use similar forms of evaluation, albeit in a less formal manner.

What faculty do not realize is that these kinds of simple course assessment devices can easily become the core of a comprehensive departmental assessment plan. Professors know what outcomes (knowledge, skills, and values) they wish to foster in their students. Outcomes that have the widest applicability can become the first objectives that the department evaluates. By asking similar questions of students at different points in their career (first methods course, upper-division content courses, senior seminar), comparing responses, and making changes, faculty can begin assessing departmental progress toward goals while improving student learning.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

student (103), assess (82), peer (69), review (67), evalu (62), skill (50), faculti (38), depart (36), discuss (34), class (33), polit (33), use (32), improv (31), cours (31), classroom (29), learn (28), department (26), teach (25), work (25), professor (22), scienc (21),

Author's Keywords:

assessment; department; peer-evaluation; student; classroom
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Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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http://www.apsanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Deardorff, Michelle. "Assessing the Department through Classroom Peer-Evaluation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, NA, Washington, DC, Feb 19, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p117480_index.html>

APA Citation:

Deardorff, M. , 2004-02-19 "Assessing the Department through Classroom Peer-Evaluation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, NA, Washington, DC Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p117480_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Faculty have been concerned about the effectiveness of their teaching and have worked to assess the quality of student learning, since teachers began thinking about pedagogy. Over the last thirty years, the development of such student-centered pedagogies as service learning, role-playing and simulations, discussions, internships, and civic engagement programs demonstrate our concern that students are invested in their own education. Simultaneously, political science departments have responded very negatively to assessment requirements and externally mandated program review, often seeing it as intrusive and pointless.

Effective forms of student evaluation can be used to develop departmental assessment programs in a manner that most faculty can endorse. Using a peer-review approach to demonstrate the connections between classroom outcomes and departmental objectives, this presentation will provide practical advice and concrete tools that can be widely adapted.

The two specific tools presented enable the professor to 1) assess student learning in simulations and discussion in a particular class; 2) teach students how to be more sophisticated participants in a discussion or role players in a simulation; 3) help students become more accountable for their own learning; 4) provide regular feedback to students during the semester, allowing for skill improvement; 5) communicate expectations for classroom performance; and 6) evaluate student improvement in targeted skills over time. Many faculty regularly use similar forms of evaluation, albeit in a less formal manner.

What faculty do not realize is that these kinds of simple course assessment devices can easily become the core of a comprehensive departmental assessment plan. Professors know what outcomes (knowledge, skills, and values) they wish to foster in their students. Outcomes that have the widest applicability can become the first objectives that the department evaluates. By asking similar questions of students at different points in their career (first methods course, upper-division content courses, senior seminar), comparing responses, and making changes, faculty can begin assessing departmental progress toward goals while improving student learning.

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Associated Document Available Political Research Online

Document Type: .pdf
Page count: 24
Word count: 5850
Text sample:
“ASSESSING THE DEPARTMENT THROUGH CLASSROOM PEER-EVALUATION” Michelle D. Deardorff Associate Professor of Political Science Jackson State University Box 18420 Jackson Mississippi 39217 601.979.2822 michelle.d.deardorff@jsums.edu Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association Conference on Teaching and Learning Washington D.C. February 19-21 2004. Abstract: Faculty have been concerned about the effectiveness of their teaching and have worked to assess the quality of student learning since teachers began thinking about pedagogy. Over the last thirty years the development of such
21 V. Course Evaluations Aggregated —faculty findings and discussions VI. Writing Requirement Findings —findings and conclusions VII. Senior Exit Interview —major themes and concerns to address VIII. Senior Plans After Graduation —List of students and plans Name of Student Stated Plans after Graduation 22 IX. Steps in Assessment —Accomplishments this year in Assessment X. Changes to Program for Next Year Resulting from Feedback —Plans for next year to improve educational quality XI. APPENDIX--Artifacts of the Department of Political Science


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