have made a few classroom visits. No one person or group has a detailed, complete view of the entire teaching process.
A more accurate and more valid assessment of teaching performance of necessity involves gathering information on all five dimensions of teaching performance. This might include (1) students’ perceptions and reactions to various aspects of the instructor’s delivery, course design, and assessment methods; (2) information from peers, and perhaps informed experts, on the quality of the instructor’s design and assessment skills; (3) information from peers and department heads or supervisors on content expertise (primarily in terms of the level, currency, and appropriateness of the material in the course design and supporting materials); and (4) information from the department head or supervisor on the instructor’s course management.
Data provided by students would most likely be gathered by a well designed student-rating form that elicits students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the instructional design, delivery, and assessment aspects of the course. Data provided by peers may include reviews of the course syllabus to judge whether (1) the content is current, (2) the design includes experiences that will advance students’ mastery of the material, (3) the delivery mechanism (e.g., slides, web pages, lectures, etc.) are well executed, and (4) the assessment tools and procedures are valid and reliable. It should be pointed out that the peers used for such evaluation activities should be experienced and capable of making the assessments that are being asked of them. This will require individuals that have some level of knowledge and expertise in instructional practice.
Data provided by the department chair or supervisor may include (1) external evidence of the content expertise of the instructor, (2) evidence that the instructor is complying with all instructional assessment policies and procedures, and (3) evidence that the instructor complies with internal policies and procedures (e.g., reporting grades, keeping attendance records, supervising laboratory activities, etc.).
Finally, the instructor himself/herself may maintain a portfolio of evidence and/or informal or qualitative evidence on all aspects of teaching performance. Although peers and the department head or supervisor may want to use the portfolio to augment their interpretation, we do not recommend that self-rating data be used in combination with data from other sources, because self-rating data may then have a greater impact than intended. However, determining how much self-rating data should “count” is an issue that should have been resolved at the faculty-engagement stage (Chapter 4).
The key to an effective evaluation of teaching is putting the parts of this mosaic together in a way that accurately reflects the instructor’s overall teaching competence.
Different units may decide to measure only a subset of the performance components of teaching. Table 5.1, an expanded version of Table 4.2, provides a rubric for gathering measurement data on all of the components of teaching performance. In Table 5.1, the type and source of data is described within the appropriate cell.