Rater Training Program
As noted earlier, the target group for this program will include both the university teaching staff and the student fraternity. To ensure that all students benefit from the training initiative, the program will be run based on undergraduate degree programs. All students undertaking a specific undergraduate degree program, say Degree in Economics, will allocate two days in their semester time-table, in which the students and the lecturers who teach that class will attend the training program at the school’s main Lecture Hall. After the group is finished, another group will follow. Undergraduate degree programs with few number of students will be joined by other students where there are many students. For instance, a lecturer can conduct a short lecture as all the participants make observations about what they think about the teacher’s performance.
Normal classroom situations should be replicated in the exercise by focusing on student’s asking questions, and movement of the teacher. After the exercise, the students should account for the differences in their observation by analyzing the effect of factors such as loss of details, and the effect of prejudices. The second method that will be carried out in this approach will include the use of pre-prepared handouts explaining different concepts that influence observation skills. These will include the analysis of objectivity and reliability of the influence of social perception in interactive platforms such as classrooms. The process could also require the students to be divided in groups to compare the recordings that each student found to be important in the lecture video.
The trainers should offer final feedback on what are the relevant behavioral cues that the students should note in a lecture as well as offering this information to the teaching staff. Rater Error Training This training approach advocates for training methods that help the target group improve accuracy in the rating process by decreasing incidence of rate errors or what is referred to rater bias. According to Gorman and his colleagues (2015), there are specific types of rate errors that have been shown to affect the rating process depending on the nature of the person conducting the rating. These errors include leniency error that is made by raters who have the predisposition of giving all rates a good rating, severity error which describes raters who have the predisposition to give all the rates a bad rating, and the central tendency error that is shown by raters who are more likely to offer the same type of score in each category or to all the raters.
For instance, to reduce the occurrence of the distributional errors, the students can be encouraged to use rank order in evaluating important competency indicators. Invariably, the students could also use paired comparison to ensure that the effectively correlate competencies that influence one another. An extension of this training method will override into the normal program schedule of the school, whereby students acquire more experience in the performance evaluation process. As the students continue to grade the performance of teachers, they should be acutely aware of the errors discussed during the training lectures. Replicating the actual lectures in the program could employ use of resources that are not available, this is resolved by ensuring continued practice and evaluation of any changes in the quality of rating.
The lectures should also improve the skills of the students in documenting the indicators of the training. This can be carried out by simulation exercises in which the students record the ratings of each competency indicator. The second strategy that can be applied in the training program to help students understand the FOR approach is the use of video session in which the participants record their individual ratings based on the videos, followed by group discussions and finally the trainers offer constructive feedback to help the students improve the quality of the rating process. The students should account for the critical incidents that informed their decision to give either a positive or negative rating (Debnath & Tandon, 2015). This approach will also enable students’ capability in assessing the behavior sequences.
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