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Fall 2015 Teaching Effectiveness Institute

Online registration is closed. If you still wish to register, please call 815-753-0595

Expanding Your Feedback Toolkit: Collecting Student Feedback, Conducting Classroom Observations, and Having the Important Conversations

Friday, August 14, 2015 
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center

by Therese Huston, Ph.D., Seattle University


Therese Huston

As faculty, we often reflect on student feedback as we're planning and revising our courses, but students' comments aren't always as constructive as they could be. It can be tempting to dismiss students' contradictory comments, and it can be hard to find changes you're convinced you should make. This interactive workshop seeks to improve your feedback toolkit. First, we'll look at how to collect mid-semester feedback from students that is actionable and concrete, and we'll evaluate different options for responding to student input.

Second, we'll consider how faculty can provide informed feedback to one another through classroom observations. Admittedly, even faculty members who have taught for years aren't necessarily comfortable having a peer at the back of their classrooms. We might all agree in theory that thoughtful, constructive feedback is essential to improvement, but in practice, it can be difficult to give or receive feedback from a colleague, even one with the best of intentions. We'll look at a variety of best practices for classroom observations and we'll tackle the most common roadblocks.

Therese Huston is Faculty Development Consultant for the Center for Faculty Development at Seattle University and the author of Teaching What You Don't Know by Harvard University Press. Her primary research focuses on faculty morale and retention, innovative teaching strategies, and peer mentoring programs for college teachers. Dr. Huston was the Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University. She was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical cognitive neuroscience at the Center for Neural Basis of Cognition at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, Huston was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Pacific University and the Assistant Director for Faculty Support at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University.

Tentative Agenda

8:30 a.m.
Check-in, Refreshments, and Networking
8:55 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions
8:30 a.m.
Collecting Better Feedback from Students
10:30 a.m.
Morning Break
10:45 a.m.
Responding Effectively to Student Feedback; Best Practices in Classroom Observation
12:00 p.m.
Lunch in Blackhawk Cafeteria
1:00 p.m.
Giving Feedback That's Likely to Lead to Change
2:15 p.m.
Afternoon Break
2:30 p.m.
Benefits to the Observer and the Observed
4:00 p.m.
Conclusion and Institute Evaluation

Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Registration Information

This institute is open to NIU faculty, instructors, and SPS and Civil Service staff. Participants will receive institute materials, lunch, and a certificate of participation. Due to the expensive nature of the institute and the advance notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and plan to attend the entire day. Advance registration is required.

Registration Deadline: Friday, August 7, 2015. Online registration is closed. If you wish to register, please call 815-753-0595.

After you register, if you are unable to attend, please inform the Center by Monday, August 10, 2015 so that those on the waiting list can be given the opportunity to attend the institute and/or institute costs can be reduced.

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Last Updated: 8/11/2015