|After a brief meeting to discuss your
concerns about the course, the TLC consultant will visit your
classroom for approximately 30 minutes in order to poll your
students about their perceptions of the course. (After introducing
the consultant, you get to 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 on the board 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. Consider some of the benefits:
1) Everybody wins and wins fast.
2) The TAP gives you 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.
3) Students appreciate your interest in hearing
their ideas about the course.
4) You'll appreciate not having to read through
written evaluations which can offer grating ambiguities and negative
5) TAPs are completely confidential; the
consultant keeps no written records at all.
6) TAPs can be requested only by the instructor
7) Only responses that have been agreed upon by a
majority vote are reported, so the instructor knows that most
students concur with the suggestions.
8) A TAP requires only thirty minutes of class
time, and an additional half-hour outside of class to review the
9) What you learn from a TAP, especially one done
in the first six weeks of the semester, helps you and the students
get more from the course--with no delay.