- EVALUATION OF TEACHING.
The Department of Biochemistry teaches courses to both Graduate
Students and First Year Medical Students. In both of these settings,
most courses are team taught. The course director attends all the
lectures, evaluates the teaching faculty and offers some advice. It
is suggested that in the future the course director provides more
feed-back to the instructor, especially in ways that the presentation
could be improved.
Graduate Student evaluations are distributed and collected by the
course director. The data is collated and analyzed by the course
director and the summary is distributed to all the participating
faculty. Each faculty member is evaluated and each sees their own
evaluations. Medical Students administer their own evaluations,
collate the data and give a "grade" to both the overall course and
the faculty member, each in seven different areas. There is also
space on the evaluation form for pointing out the professor's
strengths and for making suggestions for improvement. The individual
faculty member sees their own evaluations and the course director
sees all evaluations. Once each year a student committee of three
meets with the course director to discuss the student evaluations. On
the whole, valid criticisms and suggestions are responded to.
- DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHING.
Graduate Courses: In the "team taught" courses some criticism is
given by the course director, but little mentoring. In one
"seminar-type" course where many faculty are involved, the course
director takes special care to explain the overall objectives and
plan of the course to each faculty member and ensure that each
faculty member meets several times with the specific students for
whom they are responsible.
Medical School Course: Junior faculty are encouraged to "sit in"
on selected lectures in the course and the year before entering the
course a "new" professor attends the lectures in the area they will
be taking over. None of the junior faculty currently teach in this
As we have no contact with undergraduates, our Graduate Students
receive limited teaching experience. Graduate Teaching Assistants are
responsible for portions of the Medical School Human Biochemistry
course and they sit in on the lectures given by the faculty and tutor
the Medical Students who are having difficulties. The Graduate
Students also participate in a weekly "Journal Club" where groups
of four students pick a research topic from the literature and work
with a faculty member on the overall topic. Over five subsequent
weeks, first the faculty member and then each of the students
presents aspects of the topic in detailed one hour lectures to the
whole Department. Each student is also assigned a Faculty "critic"
who meets with the student after the presentation to offer
constructive suggestions on delivery style. In the future each
graduate student will be given a copy of the TRC teaching manual when
they enter the Department.
- INCENTIVES FOR SUPERIOR TEACHING.
Excellence in teaching has to be documented for promotion and
tenure in the Medical School and evaluations by two senior faculty,
who have attended lectures, have been included in the tenure package.
In the future, the Course Directors will generate a written
evaluation of each faculty teacher which will be discussed with the
faculty member and placed in their file. The Dean annually gives as
many as ten awards for teaching in courses for Medical Students. The
nominations for these awards can be by a faculty member or student
and the prize is a plaque and a $2,500 stipend for academic expenses.