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Evaluations and Videotaping

Are mid-semester evaluations required?

Not officially, but they are a very good idea! The end-of-year evaluation is way too late to help improve the class. You should give an informal anonymous evaluation. Here are some typical questions:

You don’t have to take all the advice they give you, but you should acknowledge the feedback in class and explain why you are (and aren’t) making changes. -EH

Are end-of-semester evaluations required?

YES! You should find them with instructions in your mailbox with a few weeks notice. If you need more scan sheets, instruction sheets or pencils, let the front desk know and they will help out! I would suggest not waiting until the last possible day to do them… you never know what might happen. -EH

I've heard I can get my class videotaped. How does that work?

Yes, you can have this done for free! You wouldn’t have to show anyone else the tape. Some people have found it to be a very helpful thing to see what you look like in class. You might even include the tape in a teaching portfolio in the future…

Anyway, if you are game, send me a few possible dates and times and places for taping. I will arrange that somebody shows up with a camera, tapes the class, and hands you the videotape as they go. However, you must let me know all of the information: dates, times and rooms. -EH

I'm going to have my class videotaped, and I'm terrified? What should I do? Isn't my class going to freak out?

First, remember that no one but you is going to view this tape. Second, the students can already see your performance. You are the only person in the room who can’t see yourself. If you want to improve, you have to see how you appear to others.

The class usually relaxes after a few minutes, particularly if you tell them that this tape is for you and won’t be used to judge them. In fact, you will probably relax after a few minutes, as you have a class to teach! You’ll get involved in your work. Occasionally you’ll notice the camera, but you need to repeat the contents of the previous paragraph to yourself… -EH

I look terrible on video. I'm so depressed.

Hey cheer up! Everybody thinks they look weird on video. The classroom is not exactly a Hollywood set. Furthermore, everyone finds odd tics or mannerisms that annoy. First, remember knowledge is power. You can do something about the things you see. Make a list, and concentrate on changing one or two at a time. Second, remember that your students are mostly trying to understand the difficult math you are discussing or facilitating. They aren’t concentrating at the way you stand or talk, the way you do when you watch yourself. So, find things to improve. But don’t obsess. We’re all doing our best, and the best you can do is to keep improving. -EH