Saturday, November 6, 2010

Teaching Tip #16

Give out snacks before doing SET (student evaluation of teaching).

Ha, I'm kidding.

Not really. The research shows those things are largely based on personality (friendly, helpful, etc.) rather than competency as a teacher or knowledge of subject matter.

Of course, it can be very well argued that teaching is an interpersonal activity more than an intellectual one. So personality-based factors in evaluation are not irrelevant. They can, however, carry too much weight. A "cool" professor will get a good evaluation even if the students learn less.

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