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Faculty Evaluation System

Purpose

To be effective teachers, we strive to do the best for students through our classroom instruction. The following system of faculty evaluation provides a vehicle for the documentation of successful teaching and for the citation of areas where instructional improvement is being undertaken. All faculty, full-time or adjunct, are expected to be actively documenting their performance and working to expand their competence as instructors.

Faculty Evaluation Components

As previously established, the criteria for faculty rank establishes faculty categories. The criteria for faculty include academic preparation, professional experience, professional competence and scholarship, teaching effectiveness, and service to the University and the profession. The faculty evaluation system, presented here, incorporates the same criteria.

A. Academic preparation – Faculty should possess the academic credentials in their rank as stated in the Guidelines for Promotion, Sabbatical and Educational Leave. This information will be documented in the curriculum vitae/resume of each faculty member and be reflected in the Cumulative Faculty Record.

B. Professional experience – This component is based on the number of years of successful teaching at Stevenson University and at other institutions. (Refer to the Guidelines for Promotion, Sabbatical, and Educational Leave.)

C. Professional Competence and Scholarship – Faculty are expected to continue their professional growth through a variety of activities at the University or in other professional arenas. This information will be documented in the curriculum vitae/resume of each faculty member and be reflected in the Cumulative Faculty Record. As cited in the Guidelines for Promotion, Sabbatical and Educational Leave, this category is based on breadth and depth of knowledge in the field.

D. Teaching Effectiveness – Teaching effectiveness will be determined in three ways: student evaluation, administrative evaluation and faculty self-evaluation. As cited in the Guidelines for Promotion, Sabbatical and Educational Leave, this category is based on teaching proficiency. See chart below for an explanation of this area of evaluation. (Not all areas required for adjunct)

E. Service to the University and Profession – This information will be documented in the curriculum vitae/resume of each faculty member and be reflected in the Cumulative Faculty Record.

As cited in the Guidelines for Promotion, Sabbatical and Educational Leave, this category is based on leadership and contribution to the university. (Not required for adjunct)

[Access to all requisite forms and a general overview of the Faculty Evaluation System is provided in the faculty section of the SU portal.]

Activities Related to Professional Competence/Scholarship, Teaching Effectiveness, and Service to the University/Profession

Sources of Evaluation Data 

Activities 

Use of Data 

Student Evaluation  

of Course and Faculty 

Student evaluations 

 

Faculty response to student evaluations 

 

Teacher-initiated   assessments   that   provide   feedback   on classroom activities (optional) 

Faculty/Administration 

 

Faculty/Administration 

 

Faculty 

Administration Evaluation  

of Course and Faculty 

Review of course syllabi and objectives 

 

Classroom Visits* 

 

Performance appraisals (with faculty response) 

Faculty/Administration 

 

Faculty/Administration 

 

Faculty/Administration 

Faculty Self- Evaluation 

Review of course syllabi & objectives 

 

Self-assessment (optional) 

 

Teaching philosophy/portfolio (only required for promotion) 

 

Faculty development plans 

 

Peer mentoring for new faculty 

 

Peer mentoring between colleagues (optional) 

Faculty/Administration 

 

Faculty  

 

Faculty/Administration  

 

 

Faculty/Administration  

 

Faculty 

 

Faculty 

Full professors will be visited at a minimum of every three years. Associate professors will be visited at a minimum of every two years. Assistant professors and instructors will be visited annually. Faculty applying for promotion should be visited in the year prior to their application for promotion. The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs will provide an annual report of the implementation of this process to Faculty Welfare Committee.

Understanding the Process of Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness

The following describes the conceptual basis for promoting teaching effectiveness and implementing a formal system of faculty evaluation. Elements referred to below will be supported by faculty development. The ideas noted are adapted from Improving University Teaching: Strategies for Developing Instructional Effectiveness by Mary Ellen Weimer.

Developing Instructional Awareness

Goal: To enlarge and clarify one’s personal understanding of how one teaches activities

  • Self-assessment tools may be used to identify preferred teaching styles, learning styles and teaching goals. The insights gained through self-assessment can assist faculty to clarify goals, reflect on the teaching/learning process, and make connections between their teaching philosophy and practice.
  • With the benefit of these insights, faculty will be able to develop/refine their teaching philosophy, which is the initial step in developing a teaching portfolio.
  • A review of course syllabi and materials provides the opportunity for refinement of teaching/learning strategies and infusion of new initiatives to improve instructional effectiveness.

Gather Information

Goal: To acquire information on the effectiveness of one’s own teaching and to use this as a foundation for future developments.

Activities:

  • One source of information will come from student course evaluations. As student responses are reviewed, faculty can reflect on the course and the learning experiences of the class. To capture the essence of this reflection, faculty will complete the Faculty Response to Student Evaluations form to identify instruction elements that should be replicated and possible areas for instructional improvement.
  • As needed, faculty can solicit current student feedback to assess effectiveness of instruction during the progression of the course. Tools such as “one minute papers” or other classroom assessments may be used.
  • Faculty also will collect materials into a teaching portfolio that can be reviewed during performance appraisals and promotion. The teaching portfolio process enables the teacher to gather materials that reflect his or her teaching practice and highlight areas of excellence and areas for future growth.
  • All new faculty will be provided a peer mentor in the department or within a related discipline to assist them in their transition. Mentors will familiarize the new faculty member with teaching at Stevenson and assist in answering basic questions on student composition, course preparations, etc. New faculty will have access to materials on effective teaching through print and online faculty development publications and through faculty workshops and teaching circles or peer focus groups.

Identify Areas for Enhancement or Improvement

Goal: To identify and enhance positive teaching activities and/or to determine improvements that need to be made.

Activities:

  • Using a Faculty Development Plan, faculty can prioritize their professional development activities for the coming academic year. In the plan, they will select a focused area for development and determine strategies that will assist them in meeting this goal. During meetings with their supervisor, faculty can discuss these goals and the support that will be needed.
  • New faculty and their mentors may participate in classroom visits to each other’s classrooms for the purpose of sharing teaching techniques and providing formative feedback. The success of these visits will be supported by advance planning with specific goals being established. Discussions after the visit will support the experience and growth of both faculty members.
  • Administrators will review course syllabi and suggest any necessary augmentations or faculty development needed.

Implement Alterations

Goal: To incorporate enhancements and changes in teaching.

Activities:

  • Using the Faculty Development Plan as a guide, faculty will participate in the planned activities and collect information through personal reflection and student feedback.
  • Faculty will collect information and materials to include in a teaching portfolio. The teaching philosophy statement previously written should be reviewed and amended as needed. The portfolio will support the faculty in their discussions with supervisors and meet the requirements for application for promotion.
  • Faculty will complete the Annual Faculty Record for the year, outlining accomplishments and noting service to the University and professional development activities. This document will assist in providing a historical account of their activities and accomplishments.

Assess Effectiveness

Goal: To determine the impact of the alterations

Activities:

  • To obtain a general assessment of teaching effectiveness, classroom visits by administrators will be conducted with advanced scheduling. These visits will be preceded by a discussion about the context of the class session and the related objectives. The supervisor will use a standardized form for the observation to assure equity among faculty. Discipline-specific criteria can be added if the faculty and supervisor have discussed the basis of the observation.
  • Administrators and faculty will meet for formal performance appraisals. To assure uniformity, a Performance Appraisal document will be used. Signatures of the faculty and supervisor will be applied to the document. If, after discussion between the faculty member and the supervisor, there is a discrepancy in the perspective of the two persons, a formal written response can be included and forwarded to the VP for Academic Affairs. To conclude the year School Deans will review and sign appraisals.
  • Faculty and the supervisor will collaboratively develop the Faculty Development Plan for the following year. In the case that the enhancements were effective, a new plan will be developed to address other areas that may need to be examined.
  • A faculty showcase event will be held to highlight novel teaching strategies or creative assignments or assessment techniques. Nominations will be made by supervisors or by faculty colleagues. These nominations will be forwarded to the VP for Academic Affairs and the faculty development subcommittee for selection.
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