CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: July 6, 2000
UI offers online tool to help teachers define course objectives
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa's Center for Teaching has unveiled
a new online tool to help teachers set clearer objectives for their courses.
The Teaching Goals Inventory was developed more than a decade ago by Thomas
Angelo, an associate professor and director of DePaul University's School
for New Learning, and Patricia Cross, professor emeritus of the University
of California-Berkeley education department. But only recently has the assessment
moved online and become fully interactive, thanks to the efforts of Tom Rocklin,
a professor of education and director of the Center for Teaching.
The TGI is available at http://fm.iowa.uiowa.edu/fmi/xsl/tgi/data_entry.xsl?-db=tgi_data&-lay=Layout01&-view.
"Our contribution was to put the TGI online in a form that makes it
easy to complete and allows the computer to generate a score report that is
more complete than typically available with hand-scoring," said Rocklin.
By responding to 53 items about a particular course, educators in higher
education generate scores that can benefit them in three ways. The scores
can help teachers clarify what it is they are trying to accomplish in the
course; they can find classroom assessment techniques to determine how well
they are achieving their teaching and learning goals; and they can use the
assessment results as a starting point for discussion of teaching and learning
goals among colleagues.
For instance, the final question in the assessment asks teachers to select
one statement that best describes how they see their primary role in the classroom.
The five possible answers are: providing a role model for students; helping
students develop higher-order thinking skills; preparing students for jobs/careers;
fostering student development and personal growth; and helping students develop
basic learning skills.
"A fair number of people who have filled out the assessment online
found that their main stated goals in the last question didn't match their
answers to the previous 52 questions," Rocklin said. "So the results
helped them reassess what it was they hoped to accomplish in the course."
Rocklin says the assessment can be especially useful to faculty who are
developing new courses, revising an existing courses, writing or re-writing
their philosophy of teaching or participating in a curriculum review.
He said that 442 users have logged on to the site since he advertised its
availability through a nationwide listserv.