ach year we
consult with faculty, TAs, departments and academic
administrators on this campus to address issues of teaching,
learning and faculty development. Through such collaborations
we continue to build and improve our programs and services.
Individual Teaching Consultations
The Midterm Assessment Program (MAP)
Departmental Teaching Consultations
The route to excellent teaching is highly individualized. For
this reason the Center For Teaching (CFT) offers a customized,
confidential process to enable instructors at the Amherst
campus to study their own teaching as a means to improve
Together the consultant and instructor will determine goals,
identify what is going well and what might merit attention,
and develop strategies for making the needed changes.
Instructors choose from a highly-targeted, short-term
consultation to address specific teaching goals, or a more
comprehensive overall assessment. CFT consultants offer
options such as classroom visits the midterm assessment
(a collection of student feedback through questionnaires and
small group feedback processes); student interviews; course
materials review; as well as instructor self-assessment.
The Midterm Assessment Program (MAP)
Request a MAP.
The Midterm Assessment Program (MAP) is an opportunity for
instructors to get student feedback on a selected course while
the course is in progress.
A MAP a is
confidential and voluntary service. Unlike the mandatory
evaluations all departments ask students to fill out at the
end of the semester, MAPs are done earlier (around midterm) to
allow the instructor to make meaningful changes during the
course. Many instructors use the assessment as a way to begin
a dialogue with students about course content and successful
learning strategies and as a tool for examining their own
assumptions about teaching and learning.
The MAP is one of
the most widely requested services offered by the CFT,
providing a unique opportunity to tap into the perspectives
of students early in the course. It allows the instructor to
gauge how and what students are learning and to assess his or
her teaching. It offers the time and attention of a CFT
consultant who collects, synthesizes, and helps interpret
student feedback, and identifies appropriate teaching
suggestions and print or web-based resources. Unlike
end-of-term evaluations, MAP feedback goes directly to, and only
to, the instructor.
has three general purposes:
To provide the
instructor information about students' perceptions of the
course and what helps them learn.
student responses to activities and materials of the course
so that an instructor may make informed choices about course
To compare the
instructor's ideas about the course and its teaching and
learning objectives with those held by the students.
The Center for
Teaching offers two ways to obtain feedback. The first and
most widely used is the Small Group Teaching and Learning
Questionnaire where students work in small groups to
answer questions. We recommend this version for small to
medium-sized classes because it offers the best direct
feedback from students. The other option is an Individual
Teaching and Learning Questionnaire that each student
fills out independently. This is often requested for large
classes, but the instructor and the consultant will determine
which option will be most useful.
Small Group Teaching and Learning Questionnaire (20 minutes)
The Small Group
Teaching and Learning Feedback Questionnaire is typically
composed of three open-ended questions (see below). However,
the CFT consultant can work with the instructor to design one
or two additional questions at the discretion of the
The process: In groups of 3-5, students designate a
recorder, discuss, and decide what their consensus views are
in two categories:
"What do you like most about this course
and/or the teaching of it?"
"What suggestions would you make to improve this
course and/or the instructor's teaching of it? "
You also have the option of addding a third question on a specific element of the course.
After discussing these questions, the students are asked
to indicate those items that are most important for the
instructor to hear.
2. Individual Teaching and Learning
Questionnaire (15-20 minutes)
This approach allows each student to offer his or her opinions
by completing a 30-item questionnaire. The questionnaire
contains 3 sections: Instructor, Course, and Overall. Students
rate these items on a 5-point scale. Open-ended questions
also encourage students to provide additional feedback.
The questionnaire includes 30 items in 6 sections:
Scoring: Scoring is done by opscan computer. The
results emerge as mathematical scores that are then
interpreted in connection with what is known about the course
and the teaching of it in terms of context, objectives,
materials, etc. The qualitative data are also analyzed for
A MAP requires
modest effort, is easy to carry out, and uses little class
time. Usually, an instructor requests a MAP early in the
semester. A consultant from the CFT then meets with the
instructor approximately one week prior to the MAP. In this
brief meeting, they discuss the instructor's expectations
for and early impressions of the course, select the most
appropriate MAP option, and set a date and time for collecting
feedback. Typically, the CFT conducts MAPs between weeks
four and nine of the semester, and the process requires
the first 20-30 minutes of a regularly scheduled class.
The consultant then transcribes and analyzes the results
and prepares recommendations for a follow-up consultation
with the instructor, usually within a week of the MAP.
Each year the Center For Teaching (CFT) works with the
departments, schools and colleges of the University on
projects tailored to their specific needs.
Projects can address issues of classroom teaching, TA training
and supervision, course and curriculum design, student
differences, and other topics related to teaching and
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