Formative Teaching Evaluations
Formative teaching evaluations give instructors the opportunity to monitor student learning and gather feedback to improve their teaching. In contrast, the primary goal of summative teaching evaluations (such as end-of-course evaluation forms) is to measure instructors’ teaching effectiveness so as to guide personnel decisions.
Why use formative teaching evaluations? Formative teaching evaluations can provide actionable information that faculty can use to make adjustments during a course, something that is impossible to do using end-of-course evaluations. Formative evaluations allow instructors the opportunity to gather feedback on their teaching without having to share it with one’s department, colleagues, or reappointment, promotion, or tenure committee. Also, as students respond to formative teaching evaluations, they get to think about their own learning. This meta-cognition contributes to their self-awareness as learners and helps them better engage with their learning.