Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Course portfolio developed as part of the UNL Peer Review of Teaching Project (peerreview.unl.edu)

Copyright (c) 2016 Brandon Bosch


This course portfolio was created to articulate, assess, and reflect upon my course objectives for a political communication class that I taught in Spring 2016. Of particular note was my objective in trying to use a Verbal Exam to assess student learning. Although I encountered some difficulties in implementing the Verbal Exam, students seemed to be either neutral or somewhat supportive of having a Verbal Exam, with students generally inclined to thinking that they learned something about interviews from the process and showing some mild support for them being used in other classes. It is worth noting that the Verbal Exam was not strongly correlated with Participation in class. Finally, there was no appreciable gender bias in performance on the Verbal Exam. The other main finding came from running a correlation between the drafts and the final research paper. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a very high positive correlation between performance on the drafts and on the final paper. Planned changes for the course include heavily modifying (and perhaps even dropping the Verbal Exam), increasing the value of Quizzes, providing more frequent Participation grade updates, and dropping or heavily modifying the student mini-lectures.