TF Training & Evaluation

Pedagogical Training

All TFs, regardless of teaching experience, are strongly encouraged to attend the Bok Center's Fall Teaching Conference and/or Winter Teaching Week, held the week before the start of classes each year.  The teaching conference features lectures, discussions, and workshops on practical aspects of teaching. First-time TFs are especially urged to attend, as guidelines approved by the Faculty Council and department chairs require that each department and instructional program make provisions for training first-time TFs. Before the beginning of the term, each TF who has not previously taught at Harvard, whether already hired or on standby, must attend orientation sessions in pedagogical skills and appropriate professional conduct. New TFs are required to attend sessions at the Bok Center unless they are participating in departmental orientation programs that cover both pedagogical skills and professional conduct. In addition, all TFs new to teaching in Gen Ed are expected to attend the “Teaching in Gen Ed” session offered as part of the Bok Center’s fall and winter programming.  Finally, first-time TFs who were educated in universities where English is not the language of instruction must be screened for competence in spoken English. For more information, please contact the Bok Center as soon as possible.

Classroom Observation

During the term, new TFs should be observed and appraised, either by the course head or by the Bok Center.  The Bok Center evaluation usually includes the taping of a section, which is followed by a discussion between the TF and a Bok Center associate or the course head.  All TFs are welcome to schedule a classroom observation, which could also be conducted by one of Gen Ed’s Bok Pedagogy FellowsLearn more or schedule a classroom observation.  

Midterm Feedback on Teaching

All instructors are encouraged to solicit feedback from students during the third or fourth week of the term. Learn more about mid-semester feedback

Q Course Evaluations

End-of-term teaching evaluations are conducted through the online course evaluation system known as the “Q”.  Learn more about Q evaluations.  TFs who receive an average “Section Leader/TF Overall” rating of 4.5 or greater for a course with at least seven responses will receive a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. If a TF receives an average “Overall” rating of 3.0 or lower, he or she will receive a letter from the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) outlining steps to be taken to improve his or her teaching skills before returning to the classroom.