engineering. Professional development can assist faculty in deciding whether and how they might use these tools most effectively for enhancing learning. The role of information technology in undergraduate classrooms, laboratories, and field environments is an important area for continued investigation (e.g., American Association for Higher Education [AAHE], 1996; Collis and Moonen, 2001; National Institute for Science Education, 2001a).

As information and other technologies become more pervasive in teaching and learning of the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, a faculty member’s use of such resources is likely to become an increasingly important component of teaching evaluations. As with other areas of pedagogy in which college-level faculty have had little formal training or professional development, they will have to learn appropriate and effective uses of hardware and software that are coupled with new ways of viewing teaching and learning.

3. Understanding of and Skill in Using Appropriate Assessment Practices

In part, proficiency in assessment involves a faculty member’s skill in evaluating student learning. This skill is evident when teachers:

  • Assess learning in ways that are consistent with the objectives of a course and integrate stated course objectives with long-range curricular goals.

  • Know whether students are learning what is being taught. This requires that faculty be persistent in collecting and analyzing assessments of student learning and committed to using the data collected as a tool for improving their own teaching skills (see, e.g., principle 5 in Astin et al., 1996).

  • Determine accurately and fairly students’ knowledge of the subject matter and the extent to which learning has occurred throughout the term (not just at the end of the course).

4. Professional Interactions with Students Within and Beyond the Classroom

Teaching responsibilities extend beyond designing and offering courses. Faculty are expected to direct original student research and involve students as collaborators in their own research, advise and mentor students, participate in departmental and campus curricular committees, and sometimes supervise teaching assistants. Students may also view their teachers as role models for life as responsible, educated citizens. For example, beyond helping students learn scientific principles or technologi-

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement