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Methods for Assessing Teaching Effectiveness
Faculty Senate Resolution #91-28
Academic Unit Implementation Plans endorse The University’s Strategic Plan Goal that academic units employ more than one approach when assessing the teaching effectiveness of faculty members. Appendix C of the Faculty Manual requires that a survey of student opinion of instruction be used in evaluating teaching effectiveness. Appendix C permits the use of other methods and procedures when initiated by the unit and recommended by the Faculty Senate and approved by the chancellor. The methods outlined below are examples of additional approaches for assessing teaching effectiveness which units may adopt. These assessment methods are adapted from the manual, A Guide to Evaluation of Teaching for Promotion and Tenure published by Syracuse University’s Center for Instruction Development.
Additional Methods of Evaluating Teaching EffectivenessAnnual Goals Assessment: An annual agreement with the unit administrator where specific goals are set that contribute to effective classroom teaching. Such goals might include, but are not limited to, updating syllabus and reading lists, developing study guides, implementing new instructional procedures, and incorporating components of writing/critical thinking into course. The unit administrator will evaluate progress related to the agreed-upon goals at the end of the academic year.
Faculty Report: A description of teaching activities including, but not limited to, the names and numbers of courses taught, number of students taught and advised, services on thesis/dissertation committees, involvement with instructional development activities, descriptions of teaching methods, and other activities that bear on the effectiveness of the unit’s educational program. (Much of this information is currently part of the annual report.)
Analysis of Instructional and Other Materials: Review by the unit administrator and/or peers of course materials including syllabi, reading lists, examinations, audiovisual materials, samples of students’ work on assignments, projects, and papers. Other materials prepared for or relevant to instruction.
Instructor-Generated Evaluations: Instructor-generated evaluation procedures, such as checklists, survey-type instruments, videotapes of class sessions, and written entries reflecting on teaching techniques and philosophy.
Classroom Observations: Direct observation of classroom teaching or observation of videotaped class sessions by peers or experts. Several techniques help to make observations objective: use of an observation guide or structured process determined by the unit for observations; a number of observations before the final report is prepared; observations and reports by at least two observers; observation by those outside the faculty member’s immediate unit.
Structured Interviews with Former Students: Face-to-face, telephone, group interviews, or surveys asking for comments on current or former professors. Broad questions, such as the following, are asked to solicit overall evaluation statements: Describe why you would recommend (or not recommend) Professor X’s class to a friend? How did Professor X’s class prepare you for advanced work in the subject? What is your overall assessment of Professor X?
Measures of Student Achievement: In the case of multi-section courses with a diagnostic pretest and a final examination that both measure abilities in a similar way, student improvement may be used as a measure of teaching effectiveness. In addition, multi-section courses that use an identical final examination for all sections make possible a comparison of relative teaching effectiveness of individual faculty where observed patterns hold over five or more semester.