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Reflective Teaching: Evaluating Your Own Instruction

Image by Wagner Machado Carlos Lames via Flickr, CC BY-2.0

Topic/Purpose

The topic of this mini-course is using reflective teaching to evaluate one's own instruction. The purpose of this mini-course is to help teachers understand the importance of evaluating their instruction to improve student learning, performance, and behavior in the classroom. This goals of this mini-course include introducing the participants to the concept of reflective teaching and for the participants to identify new ways to evaluate their own instruction.

Needs Assessment

Part I: Intent

Being able to evaluate one's own teaching is critical for figuring out how to improve instruction and requires conscious effort. By integrating reflective practices into one's teaching, a teacher can identify how their instructional practices influence student learning, behavior, and performance (Marzano, 2012). Reflective teaching is a multifaceted concept that takes time and practice to develop. It is my hypothesis that it is an area that anyone who provides instruction to others has room to improve upon and is also a topic that many teachers need more guidance on. My proposed solution is to create a mini-course that explores reflective teaching techniques that teachers can use to efficiently evaluate their own instruction for improvement.

Part II: Gathering Data

In order to assess if the topic of reflective teaching would make for a beneficial mini-course, I developed a survey to assess teacher's knowledge and opinions regarding reflective teaching. I sampled a population of 60 individuals who teach in some capacity. Given that this mini-course needs to be designed to be applicable to the highest number of students possible, I sampled individuals from K-12, higher education, and corporate environments. Over the course of two weeks, 31 of the 60, or 51.6%, individuals responded to to the survey.

Link to Survey

  • Note: Survey data was collected between September 22, 2014 through October 3, 2014.

Part III: Data Results & Revision of Intent

File:BWest Reflective Teaching Survey Results.pdf

The results of the Reflective Teaching Survey indicate that the topic of reflective teaching for the purposes of evaluating instruction is a topic that many teachers are familiar with, but would like more information about. The survey data indicates that many instructors solicit feedback from students and review student assessment data to help inform instructional decisions. Beyond that, it seems that there are many other reflective teaching strategies that are not being utilized by the vast majority of instructors, including the use of video and audio recordings for evaluating instruction.

Over 87% of respondents indicated that they would be interested in learning more about reflective teaching, which supports my original hypothesis. Many respondents included qualitative feedback regarding what they would specifically like to learn about in regards to reflective teaching. While none of the responses were the same, I derived that the mini-course should focus on how to develop sustainable evaluation techniques, given that many teachers have several responsibilities and have limited time to expend on reflection. Several respondents mentioned that having a list of best practices would also be important for them to be able to refer to, so this will likely be integrated into the mini-course as well.

Part IV: Analysis of the Learner and Performance Context The target learner for this mini-course is any person who provides instruction to others. This includes K-12 teachers, librarians, technology instructors, corporate trainers, and more. Ideally, the learner is a person who is interested in learning how to evaluate his or her instruction through reflective practice. The learners will use the information obtained in this mini-course in their instructional setting when they evaluate their instruction.

Part V: Analysis of Learning Context This mini-course will be hosted online in a wiki. The learner will be able to complete the course in a setting of his or her choice, with the only limits being set on location is the availability of a computer or device and a reliable internet connection. The learner will watch digital video, read online materials, and conduct perform some basic computing tasks, such as word processing, throughout the duration of this mini-course.

Goals and Objectives

Learning Goals

Upon the completion of this mini-course, the participant will:

  • explain how reflective teaching may assist him/her in evaluating his/her instruction. (Intellectual Skills)
  • integrate a reflective teaching strategy into his/her own evaluative process of his/her instruction. (Cognitive Strategy)
  • will express a stronger appreciation for the benefits of integrating reflective teaching. (Attitude)

Course Objectives

  • Upon reading and viewing course materials regarding the theoretical concepts behind reflective teaching, the participant will be able to justify why reflective teaching is an important practice for evaluating instruction in a reflective journal. (Verbal Information)
  • After reviewing the components involved with evaluating instruction, the participant will reflect on his/her processes for evaluating his/her instruction by completing a checklist of evaluative strategies used in his/her instructional setting. (Cognitive)
  • Given a range of reflective teaching strategies, the participant will rate the viability of using each strategy in his/her classroom by compare and contrast various reflective teaching strategies. (Intellectual)
  • Given a set of guidelines, the participant will design an action plan for implementing a reflective teaching strategy to evaluate their instruction. (Cognitive)

Task Analysis

Course Purpose

The purpose of this mini-course is to educate instructors on how to improve their practice of evaluating their own instruction.

Performance Objectives

Essential Prerequisites

  • The participant must be able to read and write.
  • The participant possesses the cognitive ability to reflect on his or her own instructional experiences.
  • The participant has access to the Internet and a computer or device to complete this self-paced online course.
  • The participant possesses basic computer skills, including Word Processing and navigating online environments.

Supportive Prerequisites

  • The participant has a desire to improve his or her instruction.
  • The participant works in an environment where he or she is able to provide instruction to others.
  • The participant is intrinsically motivated to learn.

Unit 1: What is Reflective Teaching

  • Upon reading and viewing course materials regarding the theoretical concepts behind reflective teaching, the participant will be able to state why reflective teaching is an important practice for evaluating instruction in a reflective journal. (Verbal Information)
    • Learning Tasks:
      • The participant will read the content in unit.
      • The participant will view a short video on reflective teaching.
      • The participant will need to think about the information in the unit.
      • The participant will reflect on his/her instructional experience.
      • The participant will write a reflection in a word processor.

Unit 2: Evaluating Instruction

  • After reviewing the components involved with evaluating instruction, the participant will reflect on his/her processes for evaluating his/her instruction by completing a checklist of evaluative strategies used in his/her instructional setting. (Cognitive)
    • Learning Tasks:
      • The participant will read the content in the unit.
      • The participant will think about an instructional experience they have had.
      • The participant will apply the concepts from the reading to their experience.
      • The participant will review the checklist of evaluation strategies.
      • The participant will select the strategies they already implement in the evaluation of their instruction.
      • The participant will self-grade the checklist and use the feedback on the checklist to determine how much they know about evaluating their own instruction.

Unit 3: Strategies for Self-Evaluating Instruction

  • Given a range of reflective teaching strategies, the participant will rate the viability of using each strategy in his/her classroom by comparing and contrasting various reflective teaching strategies and report their findings on a discussion board. (Intellectual)
    • Learning Tasks:
      • The participant will read the content in the unit.
      • The participant will view the video content in the unit.
      • The participant will think about each strategy and how it is used for instructional evaluation.
      • The participant will compare the reflective teaching strategies for similarities and write down his/her thoughts.
      • The participant will contrast the reflective teaching strategies for differences and write down his/her thoughts.
      • The participant will post his/her writing in the unit's discussion board to share with the community of learners.

Unit 4: Developing an Evaluation Plan

  • Given a set of guidelines, the participant will design an action plan for implementing a reflective teaching strategy to evaluate their instruction. (Cognitive)
    • Learning Tasks:
      • The participant will read the content in the unit.
      • The participant will write a SMART instructional goal.
      • The participant will review the guidelines for developing an evaluation plan.
      • The participant will select an evaluation strategy of his/her choice.
      • The participant will write out a plan for implementing the evaluation plan.
      • The participant will assess the evaluation plan using a rubric provided in the course.
      • The participant will revise their evaluation plan based on rubric feedback.

Curriculum Map

Click on image to expand. Curriculum Map made with Lucid Chart

References and Resources

Knowledge Base for Mini-Course

Angelo, T., & Cross, K. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Davies, S. (2012). Embracing reflective practice. Education for Primary Care, 23, 9–12.

King, P. (2014). The reflective teaching portfolio. Retrieved from http://www.fitnyc.edu/files/pdfs/Teaching_Portfolio_Workshop_2014_00912_FIT.pdf.

Marzano, R. J. (2012). Becoming a reflective teacher. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory.

McAlpine, L., & Weston, C. B. (2000). Reflection: Issues related to improving professors' teaching and students' learning. Instructional Science, 28(5/6), 363-385.

Paterson, C., & Chapman, J. (2013). Enhancing skills of critical reflection to evidence learning in professional practice. Physical Therapy in Sport, 14(3), 133-138.

Richards, J. C. (1995). Towards reflective teaching. The Teacher Trainer, 59-63. Retrieved from https://www.tttjournal.co.uk/uploads/File/back_articles/Towards_Reflective_Teaching.pdf.

Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.

Tripp, T. t., & Rich, P. (2012). Using video to analyze one's own teaching. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 43(4), 678-704.

University of Virginia (UVa). (2010). Writing S.M.A.R.T. goals. Retrieved from http://www.hr.virginia.edu/uploads/documents/media/Writing_SMART_Goals.pdf.

Images Used in Mini-Course and Portfolio

Forsythe, G. (Artist). (2012). Brookfield #tli2012 keynote: Becoming a critically reflective teacher[Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/. CC BY-NC-SA.

Francisco, L. (2010). Reflection explored [Digital Images]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/lel4nd/. CC BY-2.0.

Machado Carlos Lemes, W. (Artist). (2008). Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest owl of them all? [Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wagner-machado-carlos-lemes/. CC BY-2.0.

Marin. (2007). Writing [Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/marind/. CC BY-2.0.

Vignoni, D. (Artist). (2010). Nuvola icons [Digital Images]. Retrieved from http://www.icon-king.com/projects/nuvola/. Licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License, version 2.1.

WoodleyWonderWorks. (Artist). (2008). Teaching with emotion: A Halloween story[Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/. CC BY-2.0.