The Instructor Reflection is a centrally administered survey, intended to assist faculty in documenting and archiving your ideas for continual course improvement as well as provide a mechanism to place your own voice into the Teaching Evaluation process at the course level. It is also one way for faculty to provide evidence of Engaged Teaching for Teaching Evaluation purposes. The results are archived for instructors to access for the continuous improvement of their teaching and are available to evaluators in Teaching Detail Reports alongside student experience survey results. You can read more about what is included in these reports on this provost webpage which includes a description of the Teaching Detail Report generated for promotion or tenure files for career and tenure-related faculty.
Contents of this page:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Instructor Reflection Questions
- How are Instructors Using the Reflection?
Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Instructor Reflection
- How will I benefit from completing an Instructor Reflection?
Taking time to reflect on courses and make notes is part of conscientious teaching practice. The new Instructor Reflection prompts this practice, making it easier, and archives the results. It uses UO’s student survey system, CollegeNet, to send instructors a survey at the end of each course. All of your reflections will be organized by term for you to read through as part of future course planning or when you write teaching statements for future performance evaluations.
Instructor Reflections will also be read by your department head and appear in the data that evaluators (committee members at the unit, college, and university level) receive as part of your promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review file. The intention here is to ensure that your voice is present at any moment of evaluation and to capture instances of more granular good practice that otherwise might be invisible in an assessment of your teaching (e.g. you observed a class related to the one you were teaching, you made improvements to a particular activity).
Colleagues in a position to evaluate your teaching will see your own responses about inclusive, engaged, research-informed, and professional teaching alongside feedback from students and peers.
- Is it mandatory?
No. Because UO is moving toward criteria-based evaluation, the Instructor Reflection offers an opportunity for you to provide specific evidence of how your teaching realizes the criteria set by your unit and the University for evaluation and awards.
- What level of comprehensiveness is recommended? Am I supposed to write the same thing over and over again?
There is no need to repeat things that are already part of your record during the period of review. Instead, think about using the Instructor Reflection form to highlight any specific examples of your inclusive, engaged, and research-informed teaching—and any other areas your department has elevated in its policies—that you wish to register in relation to this particular course.
- Should I rebut negative student feedback?
Teaching evaluation at UO no longer makes student feedback primary. When considering student feedback, evaluators are asked to look for patterns of achievement or struggle, an instructor’s own self-presentation, and peer teaching evaluations. If you think that there is a pattern of negative student feedback that you want to address, then by all means, provide context for understanding this pattern. But do not feel you are responsible for responding to every instance of critical student feedback. You are not.
- The Instructor Reflection asks me about things that aren’t going well. Why should I participate if this goes into my future promotion or tenure file?
What being a good teacher means is changing at UO. We have enshrined engaged teaching as a pillar of teaching excellence. That means that experimentation, calculated risk-taking, reflection, and deliberate evolution will all be interpreted positively by review committees at every level.
What questions does the Instructor Reflection ask?
The reflection prompts instructors to record what went especially well in the course, if and how midway student feedback shaped their approach, what changes they plan to make next time, and gives an opportunity to record elements of the course in alignment with teaching evaluation standards of Inclusive, Engaged, and Research-informed.
Instructors do not need to respond to each question in the survey for each course, but rather can highlight particular elements relevant to their efforts in their course.
These questions are:
- In what ways are you working to make your teaching in this course inclusive? Respond to either of the questions below that are relevant to this course.
- How do you ensure every student can participate fully and their presence and participation is valued?
- Does the content of the course reflect the diversity of the field's practitioners, the contested and evolving status of knowledge, the value of academic questions beyond the academy and of lived experience as evidence, and/or other efforts to help students see themselves in the work of the course?
- Did you do anything in terms of professional engagement that was relevant to this incarnation of the course? For example, did you attend any workshops, read articles about student learning in similar courses, observe colleagues with similar goals for their students?
- What went really well in the course this term? Did you make any changes from the last incarnation of the course or try any novel approaches?
Please describe how your teaching in this course is informed by research on how students learn and inflected by UO's research mission? You are welcome to respond to any number of the questions below that are relevant to this course.
- In what ways did this course model a process or culture of inquiry characteristic of disciplinary or professional expertise?
- How was the evaluation of student performance linked to explicit goals for student learning established by you, your unit, and, for core education, the university; how were these goals and criteria for meeting them made clear to students?
- Describe instances of timely, useful feedback on activities and assignments, including how students’ learned of their progress during the course.
- How does your instruction engage, challenge and support students?
How are Instructors Using the Instructor Reflection?
In what ways are you working to make your teaching in this course inclusive? Respond to either of the questions below that are relevant to this course...
"I developed a new early-term student survey in Canvas. Students could comment on their experiences with and interest in each of the stated course learning goals and add their own personal and professional goals for the course. Their goals helped me tailor the examples I gave in class—I knew I was lifting up topics and contexts my students cared about."
Did you do anything in terms of professional engagement that was relevant to this incarnation of the course? For example, did you attend any workshops, read articles about student learning in similar courses, observe colleagues with similar goals for their students?
"In Winter term I participated in a TEP workshop on Teaching Toward Inclusion and Belonging"
What went really well in the course this term? Did you make any changes from the last incarnation of the course or try any novel approaches?
"This year I reorganized some material and cut out less-essential content. This allowed me to better focus on the essential skills the students get from this course."
In what ways did this course model a process or culture of inquiry characteristic of disciplinary or professional expertise?
"After spending the term learning about different methods for data collection, students design their own experiment through writing of a hypothesis statement and data collection methodology. They conducted the experiment, analyzed the results and presented their findings to their peers."
How was the evaluation of student performance linked to explicit goals for student learning established by you, your unit, and, for core education, the university; how were these goals and criteria for meeting them made clear to students?
"Learning objectives for the course were included in the course slides throughout the term, and provided to students all together in one document as well. Exam questions were written for each learning objective for inclusion on the midterm and final exams."
Describe instances of timely, useful feedback on activities and assignments, including how students’ learned of their progress during the course.
"I provided feedback to students on their weekly assignments, and made sure that the students and I also provided positive and constructive feedback verbally for the pair facilitating the graduate seminar each week."
How does your instruction engage, challenge and support students?
"Students became the teachers of the course material (since it is a course about teaching, they were supported in designing and then facilitating a class period using backward design and transparent assignment design templates). Active learning techniques were modeled and encouraged, and work was done to create a community of learning where students saw both instructors and their classmates as important in supporting their growth."