As you become more comfortable with the experience of tutoring, you will want to improve your techniques, which will in turn enhance the learning experience of your students.

Good teachers reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas in which they can improve. There are many ways to evaluate your teaching practice, and different types of information you can collect.

Evaluation methods

There are four key sources from which you can collect and evaluate data about your teaching practice – yourself, your peers, your students’ experiences, and your students’ learning. 

Self-evaluation

Self-evaluation will help you prioritise areas of teaching to focus on for evaluation and/or improvement. 

Keep a journal to record, reflect on and learn from your experiences. 

Peer evaluation

Ask another tutor to sit in on your class and give you feedback. Be specific about the aspects of your practice that you want observed and commented on. 

Student experiences

  • At the end of the semester you can use the Student Evaluation of Tutor questionnaire (SETutor), a standard tutor evaluation tool used at UQ. Please note that you need to order these questionnaires online ahead of time. The feedback from SETutor is important for your professional development and for use in your academic portfolio.
  • Ask students, “What did you find most useful about the session today?” and, “How could the session be improved?” to collect fast, relevant data on your tutorial.
  • Use a 'suggestion box' to get feedback on how a session went, or how classes are going in general.

Student learning

  • Get students to self-report on their knowledge – getting feedback from students about their learning is a useful way of getting feedback about your teaching.
  • Observe students and student work – you can get an idea of your students' learning from their performance on assessment, in-class or out-of-class activities.

Some general principles

  • Don’t overuse students as sources of evaluation data. 
  • Get feedback early on in the semester, so you can address any aspects early. 
  • Always be prepared to respond to feedback. 
  • Don’t ask specific questions about the course or your teaching if you don’t intend to, or can’t change it. 
  • Guarantee anonymity. 
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Developing a portfolio

It is recommended that you keep a record of your teaching, often referred to as a teaching portfolio, to assist when making future job applications.

Your portfolio should include:

  • your name and contact details
  • academic qualifications
  • any formal training in teaching.

For each course in which you have been a tutor, you may wish to record:

  • course name (and course code for UQ purposes)
  • mode of teaching (tutorial, laboratory class, etc.)
  • number of students
  • your role, if any, in course development and administration
  • your role in developing and/or marking assessment
  • the type of assessment (essays, short question, etc.)
  • the manner in which feedback was delivered
  • assessments of your teaching
    • students’ assessment
    • supervisor’s assessment
    • peer assessment.

Keep copies of teaching materials and course evaluations as evidence of your experience and skills.

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Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA) program

The Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA) program is designed to foster the next generation of great teachers.