Instructor Performance

The discussion provided under Judging Success provides a useful starting point for assessing the performance of a case method instructor. Much of the instructor's impact on student learning takes place in the classroom. Although students bear co-responsibility for their learning, the instructor's effectiveness in motivating and guiding participants is often a critical determinant of success. Ironically, the case instructor's performance in the classroom often depends significantly on activities outside the classroom, including pre-class preparation and external interactions with students via office hours, e-mail, and other means.

Instructors can draw on multiple sources of feedback to assess their performance and receive developmental input. Feedback may come from students, in the form of non-verbal signals and direct comments, mid-course surveys, and end-of the-term student evaluations. Useful feedback may also come from class observations by faculty colleagues and from teaching and learning specialists. (See "Guidelines for Effective Observation of Case Instructors").

The most relevant indicators of success as a case method teacher may only be available several years after the course has ended, as students apply what they have learned in the classroom in their professional lives. In the meantime, instructors can continue to develop their teaching effectiveness through openness to feedback, and learning by doing in an on-going process of experimentation.