Can we define the characteristics of a good teacher?



Author(s) Simon Gibbon


SALT analysed the free text comments of over 200 module feedback reviews for 2013/14 Academic year where the module was identified to be improving in one of a number of areas. While the analysis did not identify clear evidence as to why these modules were seen to be improving, it was evident from reading and analysing the frequency of the comments and themes within the data that many of the comments to the question “What is the best thing about this module?” related to the lecturer; how they interact with the student cohort and the teaching methods and tools they employ. I will present the findings of the analysis which provides a good insight into the opinions of our students as to what they perceive to be good teachers here in Swansea.


The session will predominantly present the findings of the module evaluation analysis using PowerPoint. I hope to engage the audience using PollEverywhere to collect audience thoughts on how they think students respond to the question ‘What is the best thing about this module?’. The presentation will build upon their response in light of the findings. I also hope to use the polling feature within Kahoot to gather feedback from the audience to gauge if they feel the findings are useful, if the literature is relevant today and if they plan to look in further detail the findings and the research to inform their practice and methods. I feel the presentation closely fits in with the conference theme of Reaching for Teaching Excellence as it will hopefully inform staff using both research informed literature and our own student’s feedback on what they feel makes a good module/lecture which in turn has an impact on the teaching methods employed here at Swansea. This can have a direct impact on student satisfaction and attainment and thus leading to Teaching Excellence. Why would staff be interested? We expect students to reflect on their learning to help further their understanding and knowledge, teachers are no different. This session looks at the positive feedback our students have provided across a large number of modules for which our staff can use to reflect upon their practices and approaches to further improve both for themselves and their students. Most of the findings echo what have been written by Chickering and Gamson back in 1987, even though the initial 7 Characteristics of good undergraduate practice was based on 50 years research I feel it is still very relevant today, and there and many publications that are using this work as a basis for adaptation to current teaching methods. As a University our teachers come from a wide and varied background some with little to no pedagogical training prior to teaching here, this presentation will be of relevance to a wide ranging audience. Time and time again staff ask how they can engage students during their lectures, I hope to model active learning during the session using PollEverywhere and Kahoot to show how easy it is to do so using freely available solutions.

Key Words

teachers, reflective practice, evidence informed guidance

Key Messages

Common sense guidelines to improve teaching and learning


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s