may still lead to changes in behavior, provided the outcome of the evaluation is sufficiently threatening. However, we are more interested in developing an evaluation system that motivates changes because the system is fair and informative, rather than because it is threatening.
While the issue of accuracy of such instruments is a subject that is broadly understood and does not warrant in-depth description in this text, the issue of fairness will be defined more thoroughly. The perception of fairness cannot be separated from the egocentrism of the person being evaluated. A study by Paese, Lind and Kanfer (1988) found that pre-decision input from those who will be judged in the evaluation process will lead to their judging the system to be procedurally fair. However, many other investigators have demonstrated that, even for those who have had input into developing the process, perceptions of fairness are linked, consciously or not, to an individual’s interests and needs (Van Prooijen, 2007). Thus a sense of fairness is significantly affected by whether an individual believes he or she may benefit from an action, or, even more important, whether he or she will be disadvantaged by it. Thus all individuals, even those who had input into the development of a process of evaluation, may eventually or initially consider the system unfair, depending upon how the system influences decisions that affect them.
With respect to implementing a more effective and valuable assessment program, we might adapt to instruction a practice commonly used to increase competence in the evaluation of research proposals and journal articles. That is, we can systematically engage graduate students and junior faculty in evaluating the various types and aspects of teaching effectiveness. Their reviews of teaching are then evaluated by senior faculty as a way of providing valuable feedback and constructive criticism on the quality and comprehensiveness of the reviews. The time and effort of graduate students and junior faculty pay off by raising the level of their understanding of the research, teaching, and reporting process as a whole. At the same time, their efforts ensure that future cadres of effective reviewers and researchers will be available.
Similar efforts could be made to increase competency in instructional evaluation by enlisting senior faculty with expertise in teaching along with the participation of graduate students and junior faculty to increase their capabilities as evaluators of instructional effectiveness. Such an investment would utilize the approach used to foster continuous improvement in research techniques through advising and mentoring of graduate students and junior faculty not only to ensure that more, and more capable, individuals had some experience of assessing instructional effectiveness, but also to create a large cadre of faculty with exposure to the concepts of instructional design and delivery and a better understanding of the fields of instructional research.
Our final assumption is that administrators and campus reviewers will do their jobs fairly and objectively, including making appropriate assignments, communicating university and program expectations, and using the data collected from evaluations to make fair and accurate judgments of performance, both to encourage professional development and to inform job-advancement decisions. This assumption assumes a great deal of trust and requires some further explanation.
The ultimate goal of evaluating teaching is to provide feedback to individuals (in both formative and summative formats) as a basis for gauging their effectiveness in meeting institutional and program expectations and then continuously improving their teaching performance to satisfy their intrinsic desire for excellence. To accomplish this goal, the