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Evidence of the Effectiveness of Teaching

Back in the ’90s, when camcorders became widespread, there was a trend to have prospective faculty members videotape their classes and include a VHS tape of their teaching. Somewhere in my garage, my master tape languishes; I am afraid to view it because I’m sure it is cringe-worthy. I can’t imagine that such documentation actually influenced a search. The practice must have been conceived by some techno-gaga administrator who wanted to be cutting-edge.

With the near ubiquity of camcorders and media such as YouTube, I’ve been watching to see if a new round of video documentation is on the way. I know that some prospective teachers upload video onto the Internet; I’m not sure how many search committees actually view this evidence. After all, who would upload a terrible video? That would be like including horrible teaching evaluations in one’s application packet. Everyone knows that candidates cherry-pick their submitted evaluations, and rightly so.

What’s the best way for a candidate to provide evidence of his or her teaching effectiveness? Is it possible for applicants to set themselves apart as teachers, especially when applying at teaching-intensive institutions?

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