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Teaching Development

The evaluation of teaching and modules is an on-going programme that is informed by the Vision 2020 teaching and the NMMU teaching and learning policy. The programme aims to develop teaching and learning at the NMMU by assisting academics to reflect on their teaching and learning within their disciplines.  In particular, it enables academics to use feedback from their students, peers and self-evaluation to develop their teaching practices and their modules.


Watch this short introductory to teaching evaluation video 


The evaluation of teaching and learning is a continuous process, as depicted by the diagram below:



Why should one evaluate one’s teaching and course?

In response to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Teaching and Learning Policy, that requires the university to assure the quality of the teaching and learning experiences offered to students, the Teaching Development Unit introduces the Evaluation of Teaching and Courses. The process of evaluating one’s teaching speaks directly to the purpose of the NMMU Teaching and Learning Policy that includes the following points as of the underpinning principles that informs the university’s approach to teaching, learning and assessment:

  • Encourage and enable staff and students to take co-responsibility for the quality of the learning experience provided.
  • Give practical effect to NMMU’s strategic goal to “Create and sustain a  responsive learning environment conducive to excellence in teaching and learning and fostering holistic student success”

In line with the Teaching and Learning Policy the process of teaching evaluation speaks to the aim of the policy to “provide a conducive work environment where staff can function optimally and engage in on-going professional development”.

Taking cognisance of the above-mentioned it is evident that the objective of the university and the Teaching Development Unit is to encourage academics to engage in a process which has become known as reflective practice, which entails using one’s experience as an opportunity to consider both one’s teaching philosophy and practice.  Teaching evaluation is an integral part of teaching and professional development and should be treated as an on-going and comprehensive process that is marked by careful planning and systematic implementation. Teaching Evaluation is considered a critical element that influences academics’ decision making on the modules and how one teaches those modules.

Where does one gather data for the evaluation of teaching and courses?

The most important consideration in teaching and courses evaluation, both for improvement purposes and for personnel decisions, is the use of multiple methods of teaching and courses evaluation involving multiple sources of data. The data obtained from each kind of evaluation, when considered together, provides one with a balanced picture of one’s courses and how one teaches them. By thinking carefully about the purposes of evaluation, and by crafting multiple methods of evaluation that suit those purposes, one can devise evaluation systems that are reliable, valid, and fair. Equally important, the process of discussing and crafting evaluation systems focuses attention on the practice of good teaching and helps to create a culture in which teaching is highly valued.

Stephen Brookfield1 states that critically reflective practitioners constantly research their own assumption about their teaching practices by seeing practice through four complementary lenses: Firstly, the lens of their own reflective practice, secondly, the leans of learner’s eyes, thirdly, the lens of colleague perceptions, and finally, the lens of theoretical, philosophical and research literature (The scholarship of teaching and learning).  Viewing what one does through these difference lenses alerts one to distorted or incomplete aspects of our assumptions that need further investigation.

1 Brookfield, S. (1998) Critically reflective practice. In The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. 178/4:197-205


Purpose for course evaluations

The purposes for student evaluation of courses are:

  • To furnish information for the individual academic to use in assessing his/her course content and presentation.
  • To provide the individual student with an opportunity to offer constructive criticism to his/her teaching of the course.
  • To provide the student body with a voice in developing and maintaining an effective Faculty and curriculum.


How can CTLM assist?

The CTLM is available to assist you with:

  • Assisting with student feedback/evaluations
  • Conducting a teaching observation in your classroom
  • Assisting with setting up peer observation systems in your department
  • Finding literature on teaching and learning
  • Deciding how to respond to feedback you have received building a portfolio
  • Offering departmental workshops on the evaluation of teaching, learning and courses.


Contact information
Ms Anne Olsen
Academic Development Professional
Tel: 0415043037