EVALUACIÓN FORMATIVA EN LA DOCENCIA UNIVERSITARIA: APLICACIÓN DEL DIAGNÓSTICO RÁPIDO DE CURSO CON PROFESORES DE INGENIERÍA
Traditionally, higher education institutions (HEI) use student evaluation of teaching (SET) as an indicator of the quality of a professor´s teaching practice. The most commonly used practice in this regard is the application of student course evaluations towards the end of the course. Both at the institutional and program level the results stemming from SET constitutes an important data point for evaluating the quality of educational practice and the fulfillment of institutional goals. SET implementation is undertaken towards the end of semester and professors are provided with the results after their course has finished, making it difficult to undertake any change to their teaching practice deemed important for their students in that particular semester. While an important element for the overall evaluation of teaching semester after semester, the timing of student course evaluations make it difficult for a professor to incorporate the feedback from his/her students in changes during the semester the course takes place.
In this context this paper addresses the following question: What strategy can a higher education institution implement that provides professors with the opportunity of receiving timely feedback from students that identifies strengths and weaknesses in how he/she is conducting the class, and in response to this adjust his/her teaching? In response to this the Center for Teaching Excellence at Universidad del Norte (CEDU) has adopted the QCD (Quick Course Diagnosis) protocol developed by Millis (2004) with the goal of offering professors the opportunity to assess their student´s learning experience in the classroom in order to improve their teaching practice and foster student learning. The QCD protocol explores students’ perception about the development of a course in three aspects: overall course satisfaction, attainment of learning outcomes and specific strengths and weaknesses of the course.
The proposed paper aims at exploring how the use of a strategy that favors formative evaluation of teaching, that collects student perceptions during the semester as opposed to the end, promotes improvements in professors´ teaching practice. The paper will include the results of a pilot study conducted by CEDU; this pilot was undertaken to determine the best conditions under which to offer the QCD to all faculty at the Institution, in addition to data corresponding to its first two semesters of implementation.