Task Force on Teaching Evaluation

Introduction

The Task Force on Teaching Evaluation was formed in Fall 1997 in response to needs expressed at an earlier Unit Chairs' meeting. The Provost's statement of the problem and charge follow, as does a listing of the group's basic principles.

Statement of the Problem

Teaching evaluation is a major component of all tenure and promotion decisions, merit salary deliberations, and post-tenure review processes. Currently, teaching evaluation rarely involves more than self-evaluation and the use of forms completed by students. As a result, many faculty executive committees and personnel committees may rely too much "on the numbers" when making their judgments about teaching quality. In addition, the current process provides little information about student learning and the effectiveness of specific methods that faculty members can use to improve their teaching. Such heavy reliance on this single method of evaluation limits both the breadth and depth of information used for decision-making and teaching improvement purposes.

Charge

The group's charge is to carefully examine current policies, procedures and instruments used to evaluate teaching at UW-Green Bay and develop a model to address the concerns outlined above. The model should:

  1. Provide information that can be used by (a) individual faculty members to enhance their teaching skills; (b) academic units to support the merit, promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review process; and (c) faculty personnel committees and administrative leaders as part of their promotion and tenure deliberations;
  2. Be flexible enough to allow all academic units at UW-Green Bay to adopt it if they desire but structured enough to allow the collection of reliable and valid information;
  3. Be consistent with current UW-Green Bay and System policies regarding the evaluation of teaching;
  4. Include a component that deals with student learning;
  5. Involve students, peers and administrators in the evaluation process through the use of multiple procedures.
Principles

The group proposes that:

  1. Teaching is the core aspect of our endeavors and thus needs to be fully developed.
  2. Teaching is a process that permits development and improvement.
  3. Teaching development and personnel decisions are two very different processes.
  4. Evaluation of teaching is a means to improvement, not an end in itself.
  5. No single evaluation instrument will meet all needs.
  6. Faculty members and their teaching units should select the evaluative means that best serve their needs.
  7. Student ratings should not be the sole means used to evaluate teaching quality.
  8. Effective teaching development and evaluation require that faculty member and chairperson workloads permit a multi-method approach.
  9. Documentation of teaching effectiveness should not be an adversarial process.
  10. The responsibility for developing quality teaching is not merely the individual faculty member's, but is shared throughout the institution.
Recommendation

The Task Force recommends that units evaluate teaching using a portfolio model. This should be supported by the development of a university Center for Teaching and Learning. Given that a portfolio approach represents a major change in the way we evaluate and develop teaching, we recommend that it be pilot tested in two or three units before being implemented university-wide.

Background and Rationale

General Recommendations

The Proposed Process

Overview and Analysis of Techniques for Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness

Bibliography

Appendices

Appendix A, Perspectives on Teaching Evaluation at UW-Green Bay
Appendix B, Questions for Student Evaluations
Appendix C, Portfolio Samples