Teaching Analysis Poll (TAP)

The CTE provides Teaching Analysis Polls as a service to faculty.  This service involves a faculty member inviting a confidential, qualified consultant into the classroom during the sixth or seventh week of a given semester to poll their students on the teaching-learning process.  TAPs require just thirty minutes of classtime to complete, and an additional thirty minutes to review the results outside of class.  It is important to note that TAPs can only be requested by the instructor.  Interested faculty may volunteer to schedule a TAP by emailing CTE Director Sharon Wheeler at swheeler@liberty.edu

The TAP Process

After a faculty member volunteers for a TAP, a CTE consultant will schedule a brief meeting to discuss the faculty member's concerns about the course and then visit the faculty member's classroom for approximately 30 minutes in order to poll their students about perceptions of the course. (After the faculty member introduces the consultant, they leave.)

Here's what happens in the class:
The consultant gives groups of four or five students five minutes to answer two questions:

  • What most helps you learn in this class?
  • What impedes your learning, and how can improvements be made?

One student in each group writes the answers that all group members agree about.  The consultant monitors responses to verify that a proposed solution accompanies any problem.  With the whole class, the consultant reviews these comments, clarifying ambiguities and keeping only those observations a majority of students approve.  The consultant thanks the students and reiterates that the instructor will receive the summary of reactions remaining on the board.  During the follow-up meeting, the consultant gives this information to the instructor and offers suggestions for responding to the comments.

Benefits

There are many benefits to participating in a TAP: 

  1. Students appreciate the faculty member's interest in hearing their ideas about the course.
  2. Faculty appreciate not having to read through written evaluations which can offer grating ambiguities and negative remarks.
  3. Only responses that have been agreed upon by a majority vote are reported, so the instructor knows that most students concur with the suggestions.
  4. The TAP gives faculty members more details than do written evaluations because students have time to discuss the course in a confidential and interactive setting, while the consultant monitors responses to eliminate vagueness.
  5. What faculty learn from a TAP, especially one done in the first six weeks of the semester, helps them and the students get more from the course--with no delay.
  6. TAPs are voluntary and completely confidential; the consultant keeps no written records at all.

With TAPs, everybody wins and wins fast.  Interested faculty can volunteer to schedule their TAP by emailing CTE Director Sharon Wheeler at swheeler@liberty.edu.