and institutions of higher education can benefit from an overview of existing research on effective practices for evaluating faculty and academic programs. They also need practical guidance about how to initiate the process or advance it on their campuses. Meeting these needs is the primary purpose of this report.
In this report, the six organizing principles stated above are used to provide an overview of the current status of research on evaluating teaching and learning. The report also provides a set of guidelines, based on emerging research, for evaluating the teaching of individuals and the academic programs of departments. Faculty and administrators can adapt these ideas for evaluating teaching and programs to the needs of their departments and campuses as appropriate for their institutional mission and identity.
Part I (Chapters 1 through 4) presents principles and research findings that can support improvements in the evaluation of undergraduate teaching in STEM and reviews implementation issues. Chapter 2 reviews characteristics of effective undergraduate teaching and summarizes challenges that faculty may encounter in trying to become more effective teachers. By comparing the “cultures” of teaching and disciplinary research, Chapter 3 examines barriers associated with making undergraduate teaching and learning a more central focus through effective systems for teaching evaluation. This chapter also provides suggestions for better aligning these cultures within the university. Chapter 4 presents key research findings on how to evaluate undergraduate teaching in STEM more effectively.
Part II (Chapters 5 through 8) applies the principles, research findings, and recommendations set forth in Part I, providing an overview of specific methodologies and strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of undergraduate teaching in STEM. Chapter 5 reviews a variety of methodologies that can be used to evaluate teaching effectiveness and the quality of student learning. Some of these methods also can be applied to evaluate teaching, course offerings, and curriculum at the departmental level. Indeed, it is the committee’s conviction that similar expectations and criteria can and should apply to academic departments and institutions as a whole. Chapters 6 and 7 provide practical strategies for