Teacher Assessment and Professional Standards

The MBM Teacher Training Academy provides teacher evaluation and self-assessment tools.

We also work on development on institutional evaluation strategies against the British and European professional standards. 

Peer review

Peer review of teaching is the written assessment of a class observation and the contextual material informing that observation (e.g., syllabus, faculty member’s self-assessment, other framing information provided by the faculty member). Peer reviews are an opportunity to support and improve faculty teaching efforts, and to assess how individual teaching choices reflect the department’s curriculum and goals.

Evaluation of teaching is done for promotion and/or tenure, contract renewal or merit raises, and involves multiple windows into a faculty member’s teaching including: peer review, student evaluation and self-assessment, narratives or inventories.


  • A key purpose of the peer review should be fostering collegial, open exchange around faculty members’ development as teachers.
  • The peer review should consider and encourage the teacher’s efforts to design for and foster an inclusive classroom environment. 
  • Whenever teaching is being evaluated it is especially important that student evaluations of teaching are not used as a standalone indicator of teaching quality for any official university purpose. Instead, evaluation of teaching should include combined input from peers, students and the faculty/school members themselves.
  • Schools should develop their own criteria for peer review with broad teacher/training participation. Criteria should encourage teachers to incorporate teaching practices consistent with research on how students learn and be informed by each department’s unique learning objectives and vision.

Self-assessment and Self-reflection

Self-assessment and self-reflection can be effective tools for analyzing and evaluating professional practice and influencing professional development.

The self-assessment of teacher learning needs is critical to professional growth. Teachers develop their professional practice throughout their entire career. Therefore, self-assessment must be continuous and seamless with professional growth. Self-assessment can take many forms from reflective practice and journals to action research; from analysis of student achievement data to peer coaching and critical friends.

We offer a wide range of tools to assist teachers in assessing their professional learning needs in meeting the Professional Teaching Quality Standards.

The evaluation and self-assessment tools are aimed at individual practitioners, QA managers and HR/Staff development managers in institutions and, in addition, at providers of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) for use with trainee teachers. They provide a simple, quick and effective way to understand how well you currently perform against the standards.

Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers:

  • set out clear expectations of effective practice in education and training;
  • enable teachers, trainers and other practitioners to identify areas for their own professional development;
  • support initial teacher education; and
  • provide a national reference point that organisations can use to support the development of their staff

National and international datasets like the NSS and ISB can be of value for assisting teachers to improve their teaching.

The results of the National Student Survey (all final year undergraduates in the UK) and the International Student Barometer (all full-time undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students, except final year undergraduates, at 120 international universities) can provide insights into students’ concerns, as well as a source of comparison data against other institutions. However, student response rates vary widely so interpretation can be problematic. Nonetheless, generalised understanding of students’ expectations can be derived and used to inform teaching approaches.

The feedback collected and used by your department or college can inform you, for example, of the general level of satisfaction with your tutorials or your lectures. However, teachers usually find that they need more focused investigation to determine how best to improve their teaching. Collecting your own information from students enables you to ensure that you gain meaningful information that leads to appropriate action.

Self-evaluation is a mark of professionalism in teaching. Hounsell calls it “an integral part of good professional practice”:

  • NSS and ISB
  • College feedback (e.g. tutorial feedback forms)
  • Faculty or Department feedback (e.g. lecture questionnaires)
  • Your own students (personal collection of information/feedback)
  • Your colleagues and critical friends
  • Yourself

Novice teachers often have intrinsic motives for evaluation. They want to know “Am I doing OK?” They wish to discover their own strengths and weaknesses and compare their performance with that of experienced colleagues whom they respect. However, once the novice has achieved a desired comfort level with the teaching role, continued self evaluation guards against complacency and enables ongoing improvement and freshness, helping to maintain job satisfaction. Data you collect for yourself can be formative and forward looking, whereas other available feedback data tends to be more summative and backward looking.

Good teachers are often those who experiment. They try out different teaching methodologies and evaluate them carefully. This sort of activity is a form of ‘classroom research’. You are researching the pedagogy of your own discipline, just as you might use experimental techniques in your disciplinary research work. 

For example, you might want to know about:

  • clarity of the stated educational aims and learning outcomes
  • realism of stated pre-requisites/prior knowledge
  • curriculum and content - perceptions of relevance/usefulness
  • way in which the curriculum was presented or delivered
  • development of subject-specific skills
  • development of non-subject specific (personal and/or transferable) skills
  • appropriateness of the methods of assessment
  • appropriateness of the style of teaching, and the performance of teacher
  • quality of feedback to the student on the performance of the student
  • motivation/attitudes of the student
  • educational challenge presented to the students
  • workload, how reasonable, how realistic
  • support available to students/coursebooks/resources for independent learning
  • effort made by the student, and the take-up of support/guidance
  • overall experience of the student of the teaching and support for learning

(Source: University of Exeter TQA Manual)

Data collected by departments/faculties and colleges tend to be predominantly quantitative. Here are examples of different approaches taken by a department and two colleges. You will see that qualitative feedback is available in some cases, whilst the Wadham questionnaire asks for very little feedback on teaching but invites students to assess their own progress.