Title

The Development and Evaluation of a Program for Improving andAssessing the Teaching of Mathematics and Statistics

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of the 11th Conference of the Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

We report on a program intended to improve and assess teaching practices in our mathematics and statistics department, and on results from the program’s initial field tests. The structure of our program was influenced by current legal standards for “evaluation of personnel” that have been established through a string of litigations occurring over the past 25 years. Our program works as follows: an instructor employs two disjoint teams, formative and summative, which provide their respective recommendations and evaluations under the protection of a data curtain (teams are kept ignorant of each other’s activities), and all operations and logistics (including maintenance of the data curtain) are overseen by a third team. What we find notable is the measurably positive effect the process has on all involved, and the program’s ability to accommodate a variety of teaching styles and objectives. Our evidence suggests our program is comprehensive and notably constructive for participants.

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