How do you teach? For example what teaching methods do you tend to use? Here is a questionnaire to help you to discover which methods you use and which you could try out. You can of course change the questionnaires so they include the methods you use most, but you must also include methods that you could use, but often don’t.
Download the two questionnaires. Fill in the teacher questionnaire first. Then ask your students to fill in the student’s questionnaire.
Ideally of course you should use the methods that your students prefer, but there are bound to be some methods that you use, but that they don’t learn well from. Also there will be some that they can learn well from, that you don’t use.
A word of warning, students are not experts on learning and teaching. Don’t take their advice uncritically. If they all say they learn best from copying from the board you may need to do some work on them!
Here is a rigorous way to use the questionnaires:
First of all you need to make sure that the teaching methods in the questionnaires are ones which you commonly use, along with ones that you could use, and ones that the students might either expect or enjoy. So the list of teaching methods needs to be sort of personalised to suit your particular course, your students, and your teaching style.
The same teaching methods preferably in the same order, need to appear on both the students questionnaire, and the teachers questionnaire.
The teacher then completes their teacher questionnaire giving information on the frequency with which they use the various teaching methods. Each student is then given a questionnaire to complete to express their preference for the same teaching methods. You can then average the student preference marks. One way of doing that is to allocate a numerical score for each of the students responses. For example if they learn from the method “very well” you might score that as 5, “well” scores 4, “okay” scores 3 and so on. For a given method, you add up all the scores that students have given, divided by the number of students questionnaires that you have collected. That will give the students’ average score for that method. Do the same for all methods.
Each method will now have:
An average preference score for how well the students say they learn from the method.
A frequency score for how often the teacher uses the method. You can allocate numerical scores if this helps, for example “very often” could be a 5; “often” could be 4, and so on.
You can now plot a graph as shown above with each method being a dot on the graph.
If the method is used often and the students say they don’t learn well from it, then the method will appear on the top left-hand corner of the graph “A” on my graph. This is because it will have a high-frequency score from the teacher, and a low preference score from the students. Similarly, methods that the students learn well from that the teacher hardly uses will appear on the bottom right-hand corner of the graph section ‘B’ of the graph. This is because it will have a high preference score, but a low-frequency score.
We’d like to see methods appearing in section C. This is a method which is not used often and the students don’t learn well from it. Of course it might be helpful just to abandon this method if possible.
The ideal is for the method to appear in section D of the Graph. This is a method that the teacher uses frequently, and the students learns very well from.
Methods that appear in section A or section B suggest changes that the teacher could make. A method in section a needs to be used much less often. Methods in section B need to be used more often.