Teaching Essentials is an instrument that provides formative feedback about teaching methods highly correlated with instructor and course excellence. The instrument also includes the “overall” or summative items included with all IDEA instruments:
- “Overall, I rate this instructor an excellent teacher,” and
- “Overall, I rate this course as excellent.”
The report also provides a summary of students’ motivation and effort in the course.Students rate how often they observed specific teaching methods being used in the course. These teaching methods, we know from years of validation research, are highly correlated with progress on specific learning objectives in a course. The feedback provided to faculty on these teaching methods includes links to resources for improving their understanding and skills of the methods.
Teaching Essentials is appropriate to use in courses where stakeholders are primarily interested in assessing teaching.
Some institutions want a quick check of adjunct faculty, for instance, and Teaching Essentials helps provide evidence that a course is being taught well in general. Or Teaching Essentials may be used alternately with the full Diagnostic Feedback instrument—for instructors who have a good track record of teaching excellence—so that students are not asked to complete the full Diagnostic Feedback instrument for every course.