Preparing your Implement Badge

Suggestions and resources for measuring and documenting changes in teaching.

Why should I document changes to my teaching and the impact of those changes? 

Measuring student impact is an important part of the teaching and learning process. If you've ever finished a lesson or activity and thought, "Wow--that didn't work at all!" or, "Wow--that was great!", then you have measured student impact. As instructors, we are constantly evaluating the impact of our teaching on our students, often informally. This resource will help you move from that informal evaluation into something more formal. Just like research in your field of study can help create knowledge and advance the field, so too can research in teaching and learning deepen our understanding of how teaching and learning work and how to make it work better. Measuring student impact can help us become more intentional about how we teach and how we help our students learn.

How can I document changes to my teaching and the impact of those changes? 

1. Engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) offers instructors a full range of evidence-based teaching practices. SoTL can be discipline specific or multidisciplinary. ETE and its digital badging program, ETE10, is a great place to start engaging in different ideas in SoTL.
Try attending one of our events like the ETE conference or a seminar or signing up to participate in a learning circle. If you're unsure about where or how to start engaging in SoTL, email us, and we can help direct you to resources that align with your personal and professional goals: 

2. Identify the change(s) you would like to make in your teaching and why you think that change would positively benefit your teaching.

After engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (e.g., attending an ETE event or participating in a learning circle), you should have encountered many ideas about effective teaching practices. Connect those ideas with your personal teaching situation--are there any issues you've had in your class that you think could be improved by one of the teaching practices presented in the engage phase? For example, maybe you've recgonized that while you are lecturing, students seem less engaged: they don't ask many questions or respond to questions that you ask. In a learning circle for the book Hitting Pause, you encountered the idea of structured lecture breaks, and you think that adding these lecture breaks might help keep your students more engaged. 

3. Make a plan for evaluating the impact of your change(s). 

Now that you know what changes you want to make, consider what the best methods for measuring and documenting the impact of those changes are. In this phase, it's important to remember that what you document and evaluate should align specifically with the change you want to make. For example, if you want to add structured lecture breaks to your class because you learned in your Hitting Pause learning circle that it would improve student attention, you'll need to determine how you can measure changes in student attention. This could be surveys asking students how engaged they felt after a lecture break, observational notes that you took during and after lectures with breaks and without breaks, or another method of your choice so long as the data you gather indicates levels of student attention. 

There are many ways to evaluate the impact of changes to your teaching. Some of the most common methods are: 

- Student feedback surveys, created specifically to get information about the change you want to implement
- Feedback from SCOTs 
- Adding specific questions to IDEA evaluations
- Peer review/observation 
- Canvas analytics
- Comparing student assignment scores between semesters

There are many actors who can do the measuring, depending on what kind of impact you are trying to measure:
- Students (focus groups, discussions, surveys, IDEA evaluations, SCOTs)
- Peers (observations, review of materials)
- Self (portfolio, self-evaluation, reflection, Canvas analytics)

It's important that you should make a plan for how you're going to evaluate the impact of your changes before you actually implement the change. That way, you can make sure that the documention and evidence you collect matches with your intentions for making the change. 

4. Implement your change(s).

With a rational for the changes and a solid plan already established, now you're ready to implement the change in your classroom. At this stage, keep in mind that you will need to document your changes to submit with your implement-level badge. For example, if you added lecture breaks, you compile your lesson plans indicating what activities you did and for how long, or you might record a class session in which you implement a lecture break. Keep track of what you've done. 

5. Collect evidence on the impacts of the change. 

Now that you've implemented a change to your teaching, it's time to collect evidence using the methods you established in phase 3. What evidence you collect and how depends on what variable you were trying to measure. This phase might entail sending out a survey, analyzing observation notes, or accessing Canvas analytics. 

6. Reflect on impact of your change and potential actions

With the evidence or data you collected in the previous phase, you should be able to draw some conclusions. Now it's time to reflect on those conclusions: Was the strategy you implemented successful in achieving your stated goal? If not, how might you adapt the method differently? Is the change you made one you want to keep for the future or not?