Evaluating teaching using confidence


How many times have you been told “if you don’t evaluate it, it never happened?!”. Not only, it never happened, but how do you know how it went? How do you change things for next time? 

How often do you get a paper survey after a “teaching” session at work? Can you remember what was on it? Lots of likert scales? (rate this on a scale of 0-5, like-dislike, agree-disagree). Or lots of free text?


Planning how you evaluate your teaching session should be an essential building block of your overall plan.

Thinking about who the learning affects (and how) can be a good place to start to think about evaluation. 

Evaluating our teaching can be as simple as assessing what has been learnt or not and how this matches up with our plan for the learners. Millers pyramid is a simple way of thinking about this.


Millers pyramid


Miller describes knowing and knowing how as the first steps towards doing. So how do we assess whether someone knows something after we’ve taught them it?

Confidence is a commonly used proxy to describe a learner feeling that they “know how” to do something.

Easy to measure?

There are plenty of examples in the literature of studies where they’ve sought an easy to establish headline measure of learning. 

It’s simple and straightforward to ask someone if they have more confidence now that you’ve taught them what you’ve wanted them to learn.

Its an accepted measure


Confidence is something we all understand right? It’s a universal term. 

At an education conference if you look through the posters you’ll be sure to find a good number of them have used confidence as the measure of the effectiveness of their teaching.

Self esteem

As teachers, we often want to build our learners up. WBYHT’s medagogy describes an intent to teaching that includes building a learners self esteem.

If we can demonstrate our learners have confidence then this is surely good evidence of this? We have bolstered their confidence. 




Now you’ve read this, have a look at the arguments against using confidence as a measure of learning

No confidence…




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