Assessing the quality of teaching

Am J Med. 1999 Apr;106(4):381-4. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(99)00057-1.


Although quality teaching is an integral component of the educational process, it is not easy to define or evaluate. Traditionally, teacher evaluation has focused on student surveys. Peer evaluations are more objective and seem worth the investment. They not only provide a valid and reliable assessment method but have the added advantage of easily being incorporated into faculty development by providing timely, specific feedback. Documentation of teacher accomplishments, both in quantity and quality, can be incorporated into a faculty portfolio and used for promotion, tenure, and salary decisions. Evaluating the quality of courses remains less than satisfactory. Surveying other stakeholders would provide an added perspective that might be valuable to the course. Continued research into curricular outcome measures will be important to assessing quality of courses. Until that time, a combination of student surveys and acquisition of skills will be the most logical methods.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical / standards*
  • Humans
  • Teaching / standards*
  • United States