Teaching Practices Inventory Helps You Examine Your Teaching

Recently I received an e-mail from the Faculty Focus newsletter (great free resource, by the way) with a link to  the Teaching Practices Inventory (click to open), which can help you document, examine and perhaps even revise your commonly used teaching practices.  It lists various teaching practices and tools that can help you review and spot gaps in your class materials (especially your BlackBoard shells).  It only took me about 10-15 minutes to complete it.  There’s a scoring rubric you can use to examine your data (remove the dummy data and insert your own).

These tools could lead to some interesting Instructional team — or Department-wide — discussions!

Read more about this tool here.

2 thoughts on “Teaching Practices Inventory Helps You Examine Your Teaching

  1. I thoroughly enjoy Faculty Focus — a great resource.

    The following are teacher behavior and attitudes that encourage students to think critically and creatively.

    1. Foster a climate of openness:
    a. Maintain eye contact with your students
    b. Move about the room
    c. Encourage students to listen attentively to others during discussions
    d. Call students by name

    2. Encourage student interaction and cooperation:
    a. Having students work in pairs and/or small groups for some activities
    b. Encourage students to respond to each other
    c. Allow and encourage students to help others analyze and solve problems

    3. Demonstrate attitudes of acceptance:
    a. Accept valid student responses
    b. Respond to inaccurate responses with supportive comments to encourage students to clarify and/or rethink their responses
    c. Acknowledge student comments either verbally or nonverbally

    4. Encourage students to gather information:
    a. Make materials/resources available as need for assignments or activities
    b. Help students make effective use of course and reference materials
    c. Act as a guide or facilitate, and interact with students to accomplish course objectives
    d. Allow students ample opportunity to ask questions, seek information, and get feedback on assignments, grades, the structure of the course, etc.

    5. Require students to organize information:
    a. Work with students to accomplish the goals of the course
    b. Encourage students to classify and categorize information through note-taking
    c. Help students approach assignments and activities in systematic ways through teacher explanations and handouts
    d. Present information to students that is logical, thorough, and organized
    e. Use a variety of methods to provide information to students; do not rely on lecture alone; it is suggested that one should not lecture for more than 20% of the class time

    6. Encourage students to justify their ideas:
    a. Question and probe for accurate and clear responses
    b. Ask for evidence or reasons for opinions or ideas
    c. Help student analyze sources of information for reliability and relevance
    d. Make “why do you think so?” or a similar question, the most frequently asked question

    7. Encourage students to explore alternatives and others’ point of view:
    a. Elicit numerous, divergent solutions to problems posed in the classroom
    b. Allow students time to consider alternatives and other points of view
    c. Ask for solutions and ideas from more than one or two students
    d. Ask students to justify and explain their thoughts in oral, visual, and/or written formats

    8. Ask open-ended questions:
    a. Ask open-ended questions to get at multiple answers
    b. Encourage students to ask open-ended questions

    9. Use visual aids for understanding:
    a. Use a variety of visual media (maximize the smart board capabilities)
    b. Be animated yourself; move around; use facial, hand, and body gestures
    c. Use mapping and/or outlining to organize information
    d. Use examples, metaphors, anecdotes, humor, and draw from other disciplines to indicate the unity of knowledge

    10. Set standards for quality, use of language, and evaluation:
    a. Demonstrate appropriate use of the English language in writing and in speaking
    b. Elaborate, clarify, and define ideas and opinions
    c. Use specific, concrete, and descriptive language
    d. Establish and explain criteria for evaluation purposes
    e. Apply rules, models, and criteria when presenting and evaluating material

    11. Model and probe for reasoning strategies:
    a. Pose “what if” or “suppose that” questions
    b. Use clear examples to encourage logical and relevant thought
    c. Cite sources of information and explain their reliability and relevance to the course material
    d. Ask students to expand on their answers

    12. Encourage transfer of knowledge and skills:
    a. Encourage students to apply the course competencies and information to their personal, work/career, and academic lives as appropriate
    b. Provide examples or ideas for students to apply competencies and information to their personal, work/career, and academic lives
    c. Encourage students to relate learning to past, similar, or current experiences and knowledge

    13. Promote reflection, autonomy, and independence:
    a. Allow students time to think and reflect
    b. Expect students to think for themselves
    c. Help students assess their progress in the course: pre and post assessments; weekly or periodic self-assessments
    d. Demonstrate “I can” and “I enjoy” attitudes about what you do; teach with passion = what do I Pass On?
    e. Display a sense of wonder, excitement, humor, and curiosity

    Adapted from ———-

    Barell, John, “Self-reflection on your teaching: A checklist.” Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1985.

    Costa, Arthur. “How Can We Recognize Improved Student Thinking?” Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1985.

    Costa, Arthur. “The Behaviors of Intelligence.” Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1985.

    Winocur, S. Lee. “Classroom Observation Checklist.” Developing Minds: A Resource for Teaching Thinking. Association for supervision and Curriculum Development, 1985.

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