Work of the Faculty Senate's Task Force on the Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness

  1. What do we already know as UVU faculty?

  2. How do we, as UVU faculty, define teaching effectiveness?

  3. What would a current review of the literature reveal and subsequently inform us of potential directions?

  4. What is the status of our existing SRI instrument?

  5. Where do we need alignment and/or adjustments to existing policies that include aspects of teaching effectiveness?

Authors Denise Richards and Lisa Lambert, Associate Professors, Department of Student Leadership and Success Studies, University College

In association with the Faculty Senate Task Force on the Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness:

Pauli Alin, Denise Richards, Susan Cox, Michaela Giesenkirchen Sawyer, Mark Wathen, Jonathan Allred, Marc Jorgensen, Mohammed El-Saidi, Amanda Crabb, Frey Seagrove-Nelson

August, 2018

A seminal, scholarly white paper that comprehensively addresses teaching effectiveness at UVU.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL WHITE PAPER HERE

Index & Excerpts

Introduction

“UVU's faculty (Academic Affairs) need a seminal, scholarly paper to comprehensively address teaching effectiveness. This topic will always be at the foundation of our teaching mission but we continue to address it in bits and pieces through the years. In many cases, we duplicate efforts; knowledge and data is not housed in one place; we seem to forget what we've learned and done; faculty and people in administrator positions come and go; and literature continues to provide 'new' ideas... If we can begin to retain our efforts and build from them rather than starting over, we will have the opportunity to advance our teaching practices in meaningful, substantive, and expedient ways." (p. 4-5)

 

Historical Record of Teaching Effectiveness

“...The teaching at UVU is, in all of the accreditation self-studies, assumed to be effective if learning outcomes assessment provides evidence of student achievement of those outcomes. The implication of this assumption is that if learning outcomes assessment and student achievement of those outcomes both improve, then UVU has improved teaching effectiveness.” (p. 6)

 

Summary Review of Literature on Evaluation of Teaching

“The literature provides criteria that institutions can use to establish clear expectations for defining and evaluating teaching effectiveness. These criteria function as learning outcomes for faculty… The evaluation of faculty outcome attainment necessitates the use of multimodal data to capture the multi-faceted skills of effective teaching. There are several policy and provision levers that an institution can utilize to enhance teaching effectiveness.” (p. 28)

 

Task Force on Teaching Effectiveness

“As the Task Force got underway, it was soon clear that the topic of teaching effectiveness was so enormous that it presented members with both constraints and opportunities. The constraints included the relatively short time frame, the sheer vastness of the topic, the ever-expanding literature to review, UVU’s own multiplicity of efforts on this topic, and the wide disparity among faculty, departments and schools/colleges of definitions and practices. In spite of these constraints, the opportunities were also numerous. The Task Force realized that this could be a venue to approach the topic with a more structured mindset and attempt to gather data on our current practices and definitions—thereby generating a baseline, of sorts, from which to further analyze and explore forward directions. “ (p. 4)

 

Recommendations

Summary List of Recommendations (p. 51-52)

Teaching Effectiveness Model:

  • Adopt a model of teaching effectiveness that includes a holistic definition and comprehensive framework.
  • Faculty Senate considers how this model might be incorporated into policy or policies.
  • The Office of Teaching and Learning takes on an active and “hands-on” role in directly assisting faculty and RTP committees with the implementation of the model of teaching effectiveness selected (or developed).

SRIs:

  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review of the SRI and its many associated issues.
  • Work towards the goal of consensus in the areas of: the best instrument to use; understanding and aligning our motives for usage; and definitively addressing and answering the questions outlined in the history section of this paper.
  • Work to modify policy that is explicit (rather than implied) in requiring the usage of multiple pieces of evidence of teaching effectiveness—both in an individual faculty member’s teaching practices and portfolios, but also in how supervisors are evaluating the faculty member.
  • A consistent effort be made to provide and/or create better ways to measure and assess some of these alternative types of teaching effectiveness.
  • Be informed and guided by research as we make decisions about the numerous questions and issues surround the SRI.
  • Review whether students are all required to participate in the SRI and the time frame in which they have access.
  • Meet with the officers of UVUSA to hear student experiences with and thoughts about SRIs.
  • Separate the issues first.
  • Policies containing SRI definitions, practices, and usage requirements be re-examined and revised to align with any of the adopted recommendations adopted here.

Policies:

  • A new policy be drafted that is purposeful in addressing the full spectrum of teaching effectiveness.
  • A methodical, purposeful effort be made to align policies (e.g. tenure, annual reviews, post-tenure, etc.) that have natural areas of convergence; and that these polices are aligned with initiative and efforts by departments such as OTL, OEL, etc.
  • We must be able to rely on the processes already in place and that academic leadership will exercise due diligence with respect to reading, understanding, and implementing policies.

RTP:

  • Modify the existing RTP policy and processes to include a model of teaching effectiveness (and its concomitant definitions and key indicators).
  • RTP policy needs to be coherent, integrated and aligned with the model of teaching effectiveness adopted by the faculty.

Assessment:

  • UVU develops a holistic, correlated, and aligned process that connects and integrates student learning outcomes assessment with teaching effectiveness assessment.
  • Academic Affairs: 1) Forms a committee to oversee academic assessment (oversight); 2) ties assessment to PBA and RTP processes (accountability); and 3) begins the intentional creation of a self-regulating culture of assessment within academic departments, schools, and colleges.