Students Consulting on Teaching (SCOT)
The Students Consulting on Teaching (SCOT) program offers faculty valuable insights on their on campus or online class experience to supplement student evaluations and peer reviews.
The Students Consulting On Teaching (SCOT) program is dedicated to quality education at Minnesota State Mankato and to providing faculty members with information that helps them have a better sense of what is happening in their classrooms. The program is available to both new and veteran teachers during weeks 4-12 each fall and spring semester. We recommend observations after the first test situation. Student consultants respond to professors' invitations to gather data on classroom activities and provide them confidential observation reflections.
The SCOTs are carefully selected and trained Minnesota State Mankato students who are interested in the teaching and learning process. They can serve as excellent resources to faculty members, providing valuable insights to supplement student evaluations and peer reviews. Students are paid for their work.
Purposes of a SCOT Observation
- Providing objective perspectives about what is happening in a course. (After all, they are not working for a grade.)
- Offering a helpful perspective on the learning experience because they have experienced wide range of college teaching situations and styles.
- Connecting what they observe to teaching and learning resources available at CETL.
Components of a SCOT Observation
1. One-on-One Meeting
The student consultant meets with you to discuss your classroom, the students, and the information you seek. Together, you develop a custom questionnaire for your students pertaining to what helps and what hinders their learning. The questionnaire also asks students for suggestions on how the teaching could be modified for better learning outcomes. We encourage you to think of another specific question you want to know about your classroom - maybe specifics about your teaching style, assigned homework, group projects, tests, etc. The date and time of the observation is confirmed; remember this should not be a test situation.
The SCOT observes the class interactions looking for the specific data that you seek. They note teaching methodology changes and student reactions. If requested, they can draw a map of classroom interaction for that date. We recommend the observation take place after the first test of the semester.
3. Focus Group
You leave the classroom for the last fifteen minutes of class while the SCOT conducts a confidential focus group. Students complete the custom written questionnaire. Then, the SCOT facilitates an open discussion concerning the information you seek to learn about your classroom.
4. Written Report
The SCOT synthesizes the data from both the open discussion and the individual questionnaires. If requeted, they include a map of the classroom interaction.
5. One-on-One Debrief
The SCOT meets with you to present their findings in written format. This is a time to discuss any classroom modifications from a student point of view.
Requests are accepted during weeks 1-10 of Fall or Spring semester for this program. Observations take place during weeks 4-12 of Fall and Spring semester.