Evaluation of Faculty
The evaluation of full- and part-time faculty is conducted on the premises that responsible evaluation involves multiple means of assessment; that teaching performance can vary based on the particular setting, students, and timing of the course or of the evaluation; and that excellent teaching results when individuals are both supported and held accountable for their teaching performance. No single instrument or means of evaluation is sufficient by itself in identifying and addressing teaching effectiveness. The College of Arts & Sciences recognizes that over-reliance on any one means, including student course evaluations, can result in inaccurate assessment and/or substandard teaching. The College of Arts & Sciences seeks to motivate and develop faculty to reach excellence as instructors; at the same time, the School acknowledges that individuals need to take responsibility to pursue opportunities and strategies that will enhance their own teaching.
The following components form the basis for the evaluation of instruction:
- Student course evaluations
All full- and part-time faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences are evaluated by students each time they teach a course. Evaluations are administered electronically through a school-approved form, which the university makes available near the end of each class. Department Chairs receive summaries of the completed evaluation and review these with the instructors. A copy of the summary is placed in each instructor's file so that teaching can continuously improve as chairs note observable patterns.
In addition, the Chair of each academic department conducts class observation for the instructors in his or her department on a cyclical basis. The Chair conducts observations by attending class (when it is held on-ground) and by observing the electronic materials associated with the class, such as discussion board postings, instructor responses to students, and the like. Chairs will notify the instructor of the results of his/her observation, giving the instructor an opportunity to make a response. Records of observations are kept in each instructor's file.
Regular self-assessment is a component of the evaluation process. After each course, instructors complete a Final Report that describes their overall experience of the course, addressing such aspects as the operational smoothness of the course's technological delivery, appropriateness of content, and the students' responsiveness to the course. It is a general assessment of your teaching effectiveness in the course. This report is kept in the instructor's file. This must be complete at the time final grades are submitted. Be sure to communicate with your Chair about how to make any needed course improvements.