Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Feedback on Teaching

There are a variety of sources of feedback that instructors can use to inform their teaching including self-assessments, peer observations, and student evaluations. This resource describes each of these types of feedback, and how instructors can use them to inform their teaching.

Reflective Teaching (RT) is when an instructor examines their classroom teaching, why it is done and how it might be improved. RT involves an examination of one’s underlying beliefs about teaching and learning.
Midterm course evaluations (MCE) are a powerful tool for improving instructors’ teaching and students’ learning. While end-of-term evaluations are key for institutional accountability, MCE provide two critical benefits for teaching and learning: the temporal advantage of improving the course immediately, and the qualitative benefit of making teaching adjustments specific to the particular needs and desires of current students.
In all Yale College courses with an enrollment of five or more, undergraduates participate in online end-of-term course evaluations. These anonymous teaching evaluations are managed through the Online Course Evaluations (OCE) system.
There are a variety of published tools that can assist an instructor in assessing their teaching practices, many of which have been utilized in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses, but can apply to other disciplines. Two major categories are classroom observation protocols and teaching inventories.
A particularly powerful method of providing feedback on instructional practices is peer evaluation of teaching. In this approach, an outside observer sits in on an instructor’s class and provides feedback on their teaching.
In a small group feedback session (SGFS), a trained CTL evaluator conducts a group discussion with students during the last twenty minutes of class after the instructor has left. Afterwards, the evaluator produces a confidential report to be shared only with the instructor.