Students helping teachers in special program

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    By AMANDA BOWSER

    Students are teaching faculty with the Students Consulting On Teaching program, sponsored by the Faculty Center.

    The SCOT program is a professor-driven service where hired students give instructors feedback on their teaching, according to Lisa Draper, 23, a senior from Carmel, Ind., majoring in English teaching.

    Draper is the student coordinator of the program and said the SCOT program offers non-biased student perspectives for teachers.

    “It’s purely for teachers to improve their teaching,” Draper said.

    Draper said SCOT offers suggestions for helpful techniques of evaluation. A few ways student consultants can help include acting as a mock student, filmmaker, or recorder/observer, Draper said.

    Draper said the program not only offers teachers immediate feedback, but it also helps students to know that teachers care about quality education.

    Draper said one of the strengths of the program is that the evaluators are students. They are trained every other week during the fall and winter semesters on how to effectively evaluate teaching.

    Raquel Goncalves, 21, a senior from St. George, Washington County, majoring in French teaching, has worked for SCOT for three years.

    “If teachers care about teaching and their students, this is the perfect program,” Goncalves said. “It’s nice to see teachers go the extra mile.”

    Goncalves said students are often too intimidated to offer suggestions to the teacher because their grade is on the line.

    Students focus too much on the bad, according to Draper. She said SCOT informs the teacher of the positive aspects of their teaching as well suggestive ways for improvement.

    “The SCOT program helps to bridge the communication between the student and the teacher,” Goncalves said.

    Dr. Steven Turley, professor in the physics and astronomy department, said he has used the program four times. He said he requested the service because he was interested in the quality of education in his classes.

    “Sometimes it’s hard to see from the students perspective,” Turley said.

    Turley said the student consultants have offered creative ideas that have helped him to improve his teaching and get the class more involved.

    Turley said the evaluation is designed in a way that allows teachers an opportunity to change techniques before the damage is done.

    “If we don’t evaluate what we’re doing, we’re bound to fall into a rut,” Turley said.

    Lynn Sorenson, director of the SCOT program, said faculty from every college at BYU has participated in the program. She said many other colleges in the United States have programs similar to this.

    Sorenson said BYU is one of the leaders in this type of evaluation program.

    “We’re making quite a name for us in this,” Sorenson said.

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