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Teaching Effectiveness - Student Engagement and Learning Experiences

Student Engagement and Learning Experiences activities are those that address the needs of the students, use a variety of teaching methods, encourage active participation, and encourage students to interact with each other, the content, and the instructor (Simonson et al., 2022).  It is crucial that we can provide data and examples that students are engaged in the learning experience as an element of argumentation of teaching effectiveness.   

As an instructor, this is an area where you will show evidence of student engagement through data driven results like evaluations and learning outcome achievement, examples of assessment and student work including collaborative work, examples of substantive feedback given to students, and teaching observations.  This standard also helps show emphasis on learner-centered instruction rather than teacher-centered instruction.    

  • Examples of learning activities: This would include individual and/or group activities or assessments that focus on authentic experiences and the creation of artifacts that demonstrate active learningIn an effective classroom, one might expect to see that students are actively engaged in their learning through authentic and varied learning experiences (Simonson et al., 2022). 
  • Examples of instructor feedback: This would include an example of student work and substantive instructor feedback that provides guidance to the student and furthers learning.   
  • Participation in teaching development initiatives: This would include participation in working groups and communities of practice focused on teaching and learning as well as participating in professional teaching development opportunities both internal and external to the university.   
  • Student feedback: In addition to the SITE question identified below, you might also consider administering your own student surveys to collect feedback on student engagement and learning experiences in the course. For instance, do students find instructor feedback meaningful and timely? Do students feel there are opportunities interacting with the instructor, other students, and the content? Review the Additional Resources below for templates and language you might consider utilizing to collect mid—semester student feedback. 
  • Teaching observation data: This may include consultation with colleagues or CITL to evaluate teaching and assessment practices that focus on student engagement and learning experiences.   
  • Teaching philosophy statement: This statement should identify the methods and strategies that underly your teaching, how you operationalize them, and why

The below question is found on our SITE evaluations at WKU and would align well with your narrative regarding student engagement and learning experiences.   

  • #5 This course has effectively challenged me to think. 

Some other questions you may consider including in your narrative in support of the evidence you provide, may include the following:  

  • Alignment to Departmental/University Goals: How do the inclusive teaching strategies and materials used in this class align with the student engagement and learning experiences goals of your department?  How do the student engagement strategies used in this class align with the university's goals?  How do these engagement strategies and activities realize or fit in with the WKU mission and strategic plan? 
  • Course materials: Why did you select the course materials you did? What influenced your textbook or reading selections? What is engaging about these materials?  How do they improve the students’ overall learning experience? 
  • Student activities: What influences your selection of assessments and/or activities for a particular course? How do you encourage student engagement? How do you prepare students for active or engaged learning opportunities? How do you ensure that all students are participating or fully engaging in their learning? 
  • Student feedback: How have you incorporated students’ feedback into your strategies associated with student engagement and learning experiences? Have you made changes based on comments or performance? Where can you demonstrate evidence in response to or in support of students’ responses in SITE question 5. How can you tie these responses back to your focus on student engagement and learning experiences?
  • Departmental/college norms: Does your department and/or college have specific requirements or norms regarding student engagement and learning experiences? 


Simonson, S. R., Earl, B, & Frary, M. (2022). Establishing a framework for assessing teaching effectiveness. College Teaching, 70(2), 164-180. doi: 10.1080/87567555.2021.1909528 


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 Last Modified 5/23/24