Improving Student Success and Teaching Effectiveness through the TEACH Model

Measuring student success and teaching effectiveness using the TEACH model

Educators should review and select assessment methods and indicators of student success in order to evaluate whether their current teaching methods and systems are effective. For example, institutions may measure course success by enrolment rate, course drop rate, student satisfaction, and grade averages. It is important to identify the right indicators in order to collect the necessary data; making informed decisions will ultimately transform educators’ curriculum and classrooms (Caspersen et al., 2017).

Collecting educator data will help enhance course creations, develop curriculum, and design strategies to help students apply concepts while developing transferable skills for their future. Collecting student data will help measure their learning progress, evaluate learning gaps, and encourage critical thinking as they learn through mistakes and action. Both forms of data complement each other. The ultimate question is which data needs to be taken into consideration to create quality courses for students to learn better in class to prepare students as they enter the workforce (Quality Matters, 2021).

A 2017 meta-analysis of different methods of measuring instructor and student success discusses a “middle road” for developing learning strategies: a system of different indicators, results, and cost and benefits for each method of assessment should be developed to determine the best “way to teach and learn” depending on the environment (Caspersen et al., 2017).

Institutions have used metrics such as:

Academic performance

Academic performance, like GPA or first year performance in core subjects. By tracking academic performance over time, institutions can identify patterns within specific courses and instruction styles (Kim, 2017).

Educational goals

Educational goals, which are more qualitative and subjective. Interviewing and tracking students’ educational goals are more indicative of student success but require more resources (Kim, 2017). Moreover, measuring educational goals will increase student engagement and student satisfaction as institutions and educators develop strategies based on these goals and progress (Kim, 2017).

Learning outcomes or competencies

Learning outcomes or competencies, which are less standardized than academic performance but less subjective than students’ educational goals. Measuring learning outcomes is subject-specific and often focuses on core competencies such as knowledge, skills, or contextual problem-solving abilities (Caspersen et al., 2017). Measuring generic outcomes or numeric grades can apply across various subjects and institutions, but do not identify the varying levels that students study and learn at. Thus, defining and measuring students’ achievements in competencies will provide students more opportunities for growth while acknowledging various conditions for individualized student success (Caspersen et al., 2017).

Higher education institutions are trying to adopt competency-based learning and competency assessments in their learning and teaching systems. A core competency across higher ed includes critical thinking, suggesting that courses and programs should work towards developing and assessing critical thinking skills (Macpherson & Owen, 2010).

There are potential constraints that assessments place on students. In a case study, Dr. Glazewski illustrates that some instructors focus on grading or attendance as indicators of success, while others focus on creating goals and learning outcomes while assuming that all students are learning at the same pace and have the same prior knowledge (Case Study 5; Ertmer, Quinn, Glazewski, 2019). Depending on the indicators chosen and the conditions that define “success,” it is difficult to evaluate how “successful” a course is. Assumptions that all students can learn at the same pace or level without extra resources or contingency plans to close learning gaps are detrimental to the learning environment.

Overall, educators have developed and adopted pedagogical styles that align with their respective learning outcomes and objectives. Some metrics might not be suitable for their teaching style in order to measure their students’ learning progress. Growing education research allows instructors to pick and adapt pedagogies that are best suited to achieve their learning objectives, but many still struggle with determining what is “effective” and how to measure it (Law et al., 2018). For example, the table below highlights established pedagogical approaches and their intended purpose to achieve certain learning outcomes.

Reference: Nancy Law, Hanna Dumont, Amelia Peterson, & Marc Lafuente. (2018). Understanding innovative pedagogies: Key themes to analyse new approaches to teaching and learning.

Competency-based pedagogy

Kritik hosted a session about Competency-based Education at Educause in October 2021.

Peer assessment is an effective method to facilitate competency-based learning. A 2005 meta-analysis highlights a positive relationship between integrating feedback processes in assignments and students’ academic performance. Students who received and gave feedback on their assignments demonstrated higher knowledge acquisition and application skills because they learned more course material and applied their knowledge in order to provide constructive feedback (Vollmeyer & Rheinberg, 2005). Overall, peer assessment allows students to demonstrate their understanding of course content while interacting with their peers.

The TEACH model follows the principles of competency-based learning (CBL) and is an effective framework for activities that utilize peer-to-peer feedback. Many K-12 institutions have successfully implemented CBL to allow students to develop critical soft skills as they progress through school. Higher education institutions are now pursuing CBL as the tangible benefits and opportunities for soft skill development will set up their students for success in their future careers. The elements of the TEACH model are inherently utilized in Kritik because activities are designed to encourage active student participation and critical feedback.

Utilizing the TEACH model to establish the expected quality of feedback and implementing CBL helps educators achieve intended learning outcomes, such as promoting critical thinking, and empowering students to take charge of their own learning.

The TEACH Model

The TEACH model, adapted from “Breaking with Tradition: The Shift to Competency-Based Learning in PLCS at Work” by Brian M. Stack and Jonathan G. Vander Els., assumes five essential elements to facilitate effective peer assessment in competency-based learning.

T: Students should receive (T) timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
E: Instructors should identify (E) explicit, measurable and transferable learning expectations and competencies.
A: Instructors should provide (A) appropriate feedback based on the students’ level and help them (A) advance when they have demonstrated competencies
C: To provide learning outcomes that emphasize (C) competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, along with the development of important skills and dispositions
H: Assessors should provide meaningful comments and (H) helpful feedback to foster a positive and constructive learning experience.

Assessments with a feedback process help students develop necessary soft skills such as communication, analysis, and critical thinking skills. Following the TEACH model in the feedback process will further enhance the development of these skills as students and instructors provide individualized, meaningful feedback all while applying their own knowledge about the course content.

The benefits of using the TEACH model can be appreciated beyond the classroom, as students feel empowered in their learning and carry the confidence to continue communicating with their peers and developing competencies for their future. Soft skill development including communication and critical thinking skills will propel students forward in their academic and professional careers. Moreover, incorporating reliable and calibrated peer-assessment through Kritik increases grading efficiencies and reduces instructor grading burdens.

Here is a short video by Keirsten Eberts that explains the TEACH feedback model.

Why is personalized competency-based learning important?

Competency-based learning is an efficient and effective way to engage students in the classroom and help them apply their knowledge and skills to real-world experiences. Traditional teaching models fail to incorporate CBL so students don’t get to experience the dynamic benefits of CBL and peer assessment, including:

  • Improved learning outcomes and academic performance
  • Soft skill development for dynamic workforce needs. According to LinkedIn’s Talent Trends, 92% of the surveyed talent acquisition professionals reported that soft skills are equally or more important than hard skills when hiring candidates (McLaren, 2019).
  • Reduce technical grading burdens for instructors as they can dedicate more time for mentoring and coaching

One of the benefits of CBL is that students learn at an individualized pace. A 2011 study reveals that self-paced learning significantly improves memory performance, especially if individuals allocate more time to study concepts that they find difficult (Tullis & Benjamin, 2011). Following the TEACH model requires timely, appropriate, and personalized feedback for students, which improves the quality of feedback, encourages them to maximize their learning capacity, and encourages critical thinking.

Kritik aims to make learning engaging, effective, and efficient for instructors and students alike.

Applying the TEACH model to your rubrics

To guide students in providing meaningful feedback, instructors can design rubrics that firstly establish expectations for both student work and feedback. Students understand what is expected of them when submitting their assignments and peer evaluators know what to look for in standard or exceptional work.

Reference: Sheffield, U. of. (2021, August 11). Assessment and feedback: Giving feedback. Assessment and feedback: Giving feedback - Learning and teaching essentials - Elevate - Staff - The University of Sheffield. Retrieved October 3, 2021, from

How does Kritik help you incorporate the TEACH model into peer assessment activities?

Kritik is a peer assessment platform that enhances the teaching and learning process by facilitating competency-based learning. The TEACH model can also be used to guide students on how to assess their peers’ work effectively:

Feedback should be given on time (T) with explicit guidance (E) on what, where and how students can improve. The comments need to be appropriate (A) for the level of the student. And a rubric is essential to guide students toward competency (C) by providing their peers with helpful directions (H) that are motivational and critical. Not only does the TEACH model guide students to provide quality feedback, it also emphasizes the development of soft skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. 

Educators should aim to develop an evaluation framework that is comprehensive and monitors measurable and achievable metrics. Feedback frameworks that use qualitative evaluative strategies will help institutions find the right resources to support student learning (Lane et al., 2019). Incorporating fundamental student-centred elements for feedback frameworks such as connectedness, growth, and self-management will optimize student pathways to success as they better apply course knowledge, develop fundamental soft skills, and feel more confident in the classroom (Lane et al., 2019).

Kritik allows professors to scaffold larger assignments while requiring personalized feedback during the assignment’s evaluation stages. This gives all students an opportunity to critically think, apply their knowledge when assessing peers’ work, and develop competencies within the course while allowing instructors to provide more personalized guidance and support for students. Scaffolding can motivate students because they are receiving individualized support and have structured opportunities for self-reflection while interacting with their peers at differentiated levels.

Developing necessary soft skills

Kritik goes beyond delivering assignments. Our platform is designed to help students develop critical skills for their academic and professional futures. The incentive to apply their knowledge and provide meaningful feedback allows students to critically think and improve their understanding of course material. Using the TEACH model encourages them to follow deadlines and provide timely feedback while pacing their learning. Moreover, students learn to take risks when evaluating their peers and respond honestly and objectively. The peer assessment process additionally allows students to feel valued for having a platform to think critically and communicate their thoughts and ideas when providing feedback. Not only are students responsible for their own learning, but they also get the chance to share their ideas, and expose themselves to different perspectives.

Additionally, Kritik fosters open and constructive dialogue through anonymous, bias-free peer assessment and open discussion features. When students provide anonymous feedback to one another, they are more likely to focus on providing genuine critical feedback. Students are encouraged to share their thoughts and learn deeper while engaging in healthy dialogue. In an analysis of 140,000 peer-evaluated student assignments on Kritik, only 1-4% of students disputed their grades; a low frequency of grade disputes within courses suggests that students are assessing each other fairly and accurately. Ultimately, Kritik aims to help students develop a strong skill set that will help them as they transition from the classroom to the workplace.

Calibrating reliable evaluations

Kritik adopts an algorithm to ensure that students evaluate closely to their instructors, so as to make every course more reliable and accurate through grading. With the calibration feature, Kritik allows students to demonstrate their competencies through peer feedback. The algorithm helps educators identify prior knowledge and level competency in students at the beginning of the course, group students based on this knowledge, and conduct meaningful and accurate peer evaluations.

The ability to calibrate students’ level of knowledge allows educators to also develop course materials that reduces learning gaps between different groups. Instructors can identify groups of students within the same level and provide more resources or mentoring for students who may require assistance to master their competencies. Instructors can also introduce diverse perspectives and create a dynamic classroom that allows students of different levels to engage with one another. More materials can be provided for students who score lower, and more weight or grading power is given to students who evaluate similarly to that of the instructor, allowing for more reliable and accurate evaluations.

Kritik aims to create a diverse academic environment where novice and more advanced students feel comfortable and empowered to deepen their knowledge in the same learning environment.


Kritik has adopted the TEACH model to shift the dialogue between educators and enhance both the teaching and learning experience. By utilizing the TEACH model through each activity on Kritik, students develop foundational skills like communication, critical thinking, and discipline over the curriculum, all while applying their knowledge of course material and concepts.

Traditional methods of delivering teaching has restricted students from taking charge of their own learning. Moreover, not using the correct metrics to measure pedagogical success has limited educators from optimizing their courses based on desired learning outcomes. By utilizing the TEACH model to develop foundations of fundamental soft skills, educators and students can collaborate to deliver high quality feedback and promote critical thinking and communication skills. Kritik has adopted the TEACH model to shift the dialogue between educators. By introducing dynamic methods of teaching and learning to the classroom, every student gets the opportunity to learn with personalized support and apply their knowledge while hearing new perspectives and ideas.

To conclude, by changing their role and responsibility, instructors can save time grading and focus more attention on metrics that improve student success and teaching effectiveness, such as providing quality feedback to enhance the critical thinking skills of their students. Instructors have more time to mentor their students and provide additional feedback when necessary to ensure that students have the resources and knowledge they need to become strong evaluators, critical thinkers, and masters of their competencies. Using Kritik, instructors provide an environment for students to learn by doing; students are taking ownership in their learning by providing quality feedback for each assignment for their peers. When the feedback is not considered quality feedback, students can flag or dispute the feedback received. Then, instructors will resolve all issues by providing additional quality feedback to guide students to learn to become better evaluators using the five elements of the TEACH model.


Caspersen, J., Smeby, J.-C., & Aamodt, P. O. (2017). Measuring learning outcomes. European Journal of Education, 52(1), 20–30.

Ertmer, P. A., Quinn, J. A., & Glazewski, K. D. (Eds.). (2019). The ID casebook: Case studies in instructional design. Routledge. PDF for case readings provided in Canvas.

Quality Matters. Helping you deliver on your online promise. (2021). Retrieved November 9, 2021, from 

Kim, J. (2020, May 30). The 5 most commonly found metrics for student success. Evisions. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from

Lane, Murray; Moore, Alison; Hooper, Louise; Menzies, Victoria; Cooper, Bernadine; Shaw, Natasha; Rueckert, Caroline (2019). Dimensions of student success: a framework for defining and evaluating support for learning in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, (), 1–15. doi:10.1080/07294360.2019.1615418. 

Macpherson, K., & Owen, C. (2010). Assessment of critical thinking ability in medical students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(1), 41–54.

McLaren, S. (2019, March 20). Here's how you can measure soft skills effectively in 6 steps. Here's How You Can Measure Soft Skills Effectively in 6 Steps. Retrieved November 1, 2021, from

Nancy Law, Hanna Dumont, Amelia Peterson, & Marc Lafuente. (2018). Understanding innovative pedagogies: Key themes to analyse new approaches to teaching and learning.

Tullis, J. G., & Benjamin, A. S. (2011). On the effectiveness of self-paced learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 64(2), 109–118.

Vollmeyer, R., & Rheinberg, F. (2005). A surprising effect of feedback on learning. Learning and Instruction, 15(6), 589–602.

Carine Marette
Carine is the Co-Founder of Kritik.