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ICCE TIG Week: Reevaluating Distance Education Teaching in the Era of Covid-19: Contextualizing Teacher Evaluation by Edith J. Cisneros-Cohernour

Hello, I am Edith J. Cisneros-Cohernour, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and now work as a full professor for the Autonomous University of Yucatan. My expertise lies in education research, specifically in evaluating the quality of education, program evaluation, and equity issues. Here, I discuss the implications of evaluating distance education teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasizing the need for a contextualized approach to teacher evaluation in emergency situations.

Regarding education during confinement, it has resulted in numerous studies such as those based on teachers’ perceptions about their own preparation to provide distance education, the difficulties they faced in their teaching practice, on their digital skills and the skills of school administrators, parents, and students, as well as on the support networks at home.

Although there is a large body of studies carried out on online education, including instruments and models of their application, I consider it important to reexamine the implications of the results of the above-mentioned research in terms of teaching evaluation under the conditions that prevailed from 2020-present.

I believe this is important because it was not traditional distance teaching and learning, that took place during those years. There were also contextual elements and conditions that should lead us to reflect on the meaning of good distance teaching in emergency conditions, especially considering the differences in the multiple contexts of teaching. We need to move to a more contextualized evaluation of teaching that could help us value how good a teacher was in contributing to student learning on the specific contexts and conditions in which teaching took place, as well as considering important teacher attributes for teaching under emergency situations.

Lessons Learned:

As we reflect on the challenges and opportunities of distance education during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s crucial to reevaluate how we assess and evaluate teaching. Traditional measures may not capture the unique contextual elements and conditions that educators faced during this unprecedented time. Moving towards a more contextualized evaluation of teaching, one that considers the specific contexts and conditions in which teaching took place, as well as the important attributes of teachers in emergency situations, will help us better value and recognize the efforts of educators in contributing to student learning. Let’s learn from the lessons of the past and strive for a more comprehensive and nuanced approach to evaluating distance education teaching in the post-pandemic world.

The American Evaluation Association is hosting International and Cross-Cultural (ICCE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the International and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from our ICCE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this AEA365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the AEA365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an AEA365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to AEA365@eval.org. AEA365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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