How will you know if your curriculum design has achieved your objectives? How can you tell if your project has been successful?
Sources of useful evidence
Depending on your original objectives, there are many different sources of evidence you can access to help determine the level of success of your project:
- Student feedback on subjects [staff login]
- Student achievement levels (average grades, numbers of HDs etc), especially if you can compare these against data from previous cohorts.
- Student progression or attrition data
- Attendance at class or participation in online activities
- Access statistics (eg. how many students accessed particular areas in your LMS)
- Anonymous surveys with your students
- Your own anecdotal evidence, or reports from your tutors or co-teachers
- Focus group interviews with your students
- Evidence from specific activities you have introduced (eg. grades awarded by students in a peer assessment activity; uptake of a particular technology; evidence of student collaboration etc)
Read through the Evaluation Cookbook before you undertake this stage of your design project.
It is important when evaluating your subject to remember that further tweaking of your curriculum is likely to be necessary – we almost never get this right the first time! And sometimes it takes time for students to accept a new teaching style or new technology. So don't be disheartened if some feedback is negative – use that to look at how different aspects can be improved for the next cohort.
If you are planning to publish the outcomes of your design and evaluation project, make sure you have the necessar human ethics clearance before you start any data collection from students.
While student feedback is an important source of data to draw on to evaluate your teaching, it is not the only source. Your colleagues can also provide you with useful feedback as part of a peer observation of teaching process or through reviewing aspects of your curriculum. As a developmental and collegial process, the peer review of teaching has many benefits.