Towards Excellent Teaching Engagement: TES, an Innovative 360° Teaching Engagement Evaluation and Feedback Tool for Professional Development

Towards Excellent Teaching Engagement: TES, an Innovative 360° Teaching Engagement Evaluation and Feedback Tool for Professional Development

Siew Fun Tang (Taylor's University, Malaysia) and Gee Gee Liew (Taylor's University, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4080-9.ch001

Abstract

The teaching engagement scale (TES) is a 360° evaluation and feedback system designed to identify areas for professional development towards improving the student learning experience. It incorporates two unique approaches: (1) it measures engagement instead of module content satisfaction, and (2) it incorporates the feedback from students, the self (reflection), peer and superior. This innovative approach to teaching feedback produces a balanced, specific, and data-driven identification of strengths and areas of improvement that the teacher can use for effective professional development. When professional development is effective, it leads to higher quality teaching, which is vital for student success. As a result of the use of the TES, Taylor's University has seen an improvement in the quality of engagement over a short period of time.
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Background

Research shows that continuous professional development will keep teachers up-to-date on how students learn, emerging technology tools, effective pedagogies, and more. This process is a complex activity and most higher education institutions would provide opportunities for development by requiring academics to attend ad-hoc trainings and seminars believing that their knowledge and skills will improve and later translate into better performance (Timperley, 2007).

However, the literature also shows that most developmental interventions being designed and implemented by institutions are not as effective as they were envisioned to be. Firstly, while student course evaluations are a commonly accepted means of gaining feedback for a myriad of purposes, including the quality of the course and the lecturer, the literature shows that there is less evidence than expected for student evaluations by themselves having an impact on improving teaching and learning (Ballantyne, Borthwick, & Packer, 2000). In many institutions, what is lacking is the follow-up actions towards improving teaching and the presence of feedback from other key stakeholders.

Further exacerbating the issue is that in many course evaluation instruments, specific dimensions of teaching competencies are often not formally communicated and measured, and therefore, academics may not be aware of what they are expected to know and be able to do. Therefore access the appropriate professional development they need may not be available. Such teaching competencies need to be explicitly developed in academics to enable and empower academics to make decisions for their development (Chambers, Geissberger, & Leknius, 2004; Gibbs, 2004; Ho, Watkins, & Kelly, 2001; Pololi et al., 2001).

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