Participant Evaluations of Effective Teaching Workshop

Professors tend to be skeptical about teaching workshops, imagining that they are going to be subjected to many hours of lectures about things that are irrelevant to their subjects, students, and problems. Following are complete ratings from the effective teaching workshops we have presented since the beginning of 1996, with a total of 5637 participants responding. The results show that our workshops are practical and active enough to overcome this skepticism in almost everyone who participates.

Excellent — 4606 (81.7%)
Good — 993 (17.6%)
Average — 35 (<0.6%)
Fair — 3 (<0.05%)
Poor — 0
The presenters received “Excellent” ratings from 5014 (88.9%) of the participants, “Good” from 601 (10.7%), and “Average” from 22 (<0.4%).

Following are representative participant responses.
“This workshop is the single most valuable instrument I have ever found to improve my teaching.”
“I liked the blend of theory and practice.”
“I saw good teaching and active learning in action.”
“Real world examples.”
“I liked having the chance to practice skills which may be applied in class.”
“Practical advice supported by research.”
“Frequent breaks and use of humor kept my mind fresh.”
“Great collection of resources in the notebook.”
“Great notebook! Lots of terrific reading material.”
“I did not doze off!!!
“Efficient, effective, enjoyable.”
“Many concrete, specific examples, scenarios, tools, etc., were engineering relevant.”
“Although this workshop was geared toward the engineer I found it absolutely applicable to my department (Dramatic Arts)–I wasn’t lost at all.”
“You modeled well the kinds of things you were teaching.”
“Very motivated knowledgeable speakers.”
“Excellent use of humor.”
“The best organized, most practical and applicable workshop yet.”
“The presenters were competent, confident, and VERY comfortable. They did a good job of using the audience’s expertise.”
“Lots of good ideas–not a lot of fluff. Presenters are knowledgeable on the subject and use well-documented evidence to support their positions.”
“Rich and Rebecca were outstanding presenters who really know the material, are passionate about it, and practice what they preach.”
“The ideas presented in this workshop are among the best and most useful that I have ever heard. I appreciate the fact that, while they represent a great change in the way material is presented, they do not involve throwing out what I am doing now.”
“The workshop was presented in a way that was very noncritical. Instead of feeling like you are a `bad teacher,’ you felt more like you now have tools to be a more effective or a `great’ teacher.”

(From a Dean of Engineering)“Your previous visits were extremely productive. The number of faculty members engaged in collaborative learning activities keeps increasing [and] our faculty members are also increasingly engaged in a number of novel educational projects. The level of awareness, enthusiasm and commitment to learning is very gratifying and owes much to your workshops.”