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Teaching Analysis Poll (TAP)


Why wait until the end-of-semester to find out what your students are thinking?

Wouldn't it be nicer to know what your students were thinking before the class is over?

The University of Virginia has devised the TAP program, which eliminates many of the problems that occur with traditional evaluations.  Now the TLC at Cedar Valley College allows you to use this in your classroom.  Here is how it works:

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 remarks.

5) TAPs are completely confidential; the consultant keeps no written records at all.

6) TAPs can be requested only by the instructor involved.

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 results.

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.


To schedule a TAP, call the TLC at x-8239.

  • University of Virginia, Teaching Analysis Poll Retrieved July 02, 2003, from




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