Feedback is the vehicle for improving performance in any field. How to use feedback to refine your legal teaching? Applying the following feedback loop might be helpful:
(1) First review your teaching design against design standards, (2) As the teaching is implemented, get feedback from own observation, formative assesments, students and colleagues and (3) Once the unit has been completed get feedback from summative assessments and from “what worked and what did not?” sessions.
1. Assessment against design standards
First check out yourself how your design scores against design standards. Then ask colleagues to do the same. You could even consider asking outside experts to do the check and have them report back to you. The design standards for legal teaching as developed by TrainWell ensure that quality of your teaching is topnotch.
2. Assesment during implementation
The rubber meets the road when you implement your teaching. The classroom or online environment is the proving ground. You can observe a lot by just watching what happens. Ask yourself TrainWell’s “instructor’s self assessment questions”. Carefully consider TrainWell’s observable indicators for classroom teaching. Make notes regarding rough spots and needed revisions.
3. Assessment as feedback from results
Consider analyzing student’s work in teams or professional learning communities (PLC’s). Such communities could examine students performance from their summative assessments. Such examinations might lead to conclusions regarding identified general patterns of strengts as well as areas needing improvement.
TrainWell has developed a Legal Peer Review Protocol that comes in handy when you trust your peers to assess your teaching. It also includes “tips for peer revies”. The protocol and tips prevent “embarassing” situations and ensures optimal results from peer reviews for your teaching.