GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 183-13
Presentation Time: 4:45 PM


BARBOSA, Alli, Environmental Geology Program, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Blvd. South, Fort Myers, FL 33965

To enhance teaching performance in an upper division course for non-majors, peer observations were used to obtain feedback about the course delivery. The peer observations were performed by trained faculty at the beginning and end of the semester; as well as during a Small-Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID) in the middle of the semester. The instructor was able to ask for targeted evaluations. The first peer evaluation the instructor asked the observer to give feedback on was the engagement of the students, specifically if the students made clear connections between the topic and the content. In the middle of the semester there was a SGID which is a focus group facilitated by a trained faculty who talks directly with the students, while the instructor is absent, to provide formative feedback concerning ways learning can be enhanced. After the SGID, the facilitator talked to the instructor and reported the students’ comments and recommended changes. At the end of the semester a second peer observation was performed. The instructor asked the observer to make sure they were aligned with the initial observer’s recommendations. At the end of the second observation, it was reaffirmed that the instructor was accomplishing her goals. Changes based on the observations and SGID were implemented in the course the following semester. They resulted in a more relaxed climate in class. The feedback received from the students, based on pre and post surveys, midterm evaluation, exam wrapper, student’s perspective of instruction, and short surveys after exercises were all very rewarding and helpful. Some of the students’ suggestions, such as providing a demonstration or a different example before they had to answer the questions, greatly improve those activities.