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Teaching Effectiveness Documentation

Documentation of Teaching Effectiveness for Personnel Actions
Office of Academic Affairs

I. Introduction
Importance of teaching effectiveness. Teaching effectiveness is one of the three major areas evaluated in personnel actions as outlined in the Directory of Policy Statements. For an institution where teaching is a high priority in both our mission and strategic plan, evaluation and documentation of teaching effectiveness is one of the most important components of personnel decisions. The purpose of this document is to outline for candidates what documentation they need to provide and for departments what responsibility they have for presenting candidate information.

Please note that the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching [effective 1998, the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Center] also stands ready to provide faculty and departments with any assistance in the preparation of teaching dossiers or portfolios.

Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS) criteria (Policy No. VI:05:01). The Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS) tells us that teaching effectiveness should be documented in the following ways:

A. By demonstrating courses taught are in a continuous state of development and reflect extensive current resources.

B. By undertaking successfully new course assignments; by designing, developing, and successfully teaching new courses not previously part of the department's offerings; and by participating successfully in the collegewide instruction programs.

C. By providing whole-class student evaluations of teaching effectiveness in a variety of courses over a reasonable period of time.

D. By confirmation of teaching excellence by departmental colleagues who are directly familiar with the person's work.

E. By demonstrating consistent and successful involvement with independent studies, research projects, final major student works, and/or theses.

Documentation by candidates. What follows is a list of types of documentation of teaching effectiveness. Candidates should attempt to assure the completeness of their files so that the department can meet its responsibility to provide student, peer, and chairperson input, and to consider other evidence of effective teaching.

Department responsibility. It is a department's responsibility:

  • To inform candidates for personnel actions of the criteria on which they will be evaluated and the documentation they are to submit;
  • To evaluate the material submitted and indicate how it addresses the criteria;
  • To make an evaluative judgment of the documentation presented;
  • To consider discipline uniqueness as appropriate in the evaluation of teaching effectiveness.

II. Guidelines for Evaluation of Student, Peer, and Chair Input
Chairperson and committee recommendations must evaluate evidence of effective teaching that is presented in the file materials. To facilitate this review, the departmental committee should prepare a summary report based on the following:

(1)  student evaluation of teaching

Student comments should include all those collected by the department. Alumni comments are appropriate for promotion to associate and full professor and for continuing appointment.

  • Evaluations are expected from the entire class for each section that is taught.
  • The department committee and chairperson must do a critical analysis of data to identify the candidate's strengths and limitations.

(2) peer and chair evaluation of teaching (file must provide explanation of how peer evaluation was included)

  • peer visitation of classes and written feedback
  • attendance at performances as discipline dictates
  • evaluation of student work as discipline dictates
  • peer evaluation of items listed under item (3)
  • application of consistent department procedures for peer review

(3)  additional evidence of effective teaching

The additional evidence that should be provided by candidates and examined by departmental committees and the chairperson includes the following kinds of documentation of effective teaching:

  • a reflective statement of the professor's contribution to the teaching mission of the department or the college
  • course syllabi which detail course content, objectives, teaching methods, readings, student assignments, etc.
  • evidence of curricular revision and updating
  • evidence of attendance at faculty development workshops that enhance teaching content, methodologies, or newer technologies
  • awards received by one's students
  • recognition of students on a national or regional level
  • student participation in professional meetings, exhibitions, performances, or other professional activities outside the classroom setting
  • success of alumni / alumni surveys
  • creation of learning materials and aids
  • added efforts to support student learning
  • other

III. Student Opinion Forms
Design. Student opinion forms vary widely. Departments present stronger cases when they use forms that provide comparative data on how this individual compares with other faculty and how this course compares with other courses. Ideally, student opinion forms also allow room for student comments.

Process. Forms must be completed in the absence of the instructor, and they must be collected by someone other than the instructor. Departments have responsibility for determining whether collected forms are to be returned to a secretary or other individual in order to be tallied.

January 12, 1996

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School of Arts and Humanities

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 222
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6326 •  Fax: (716) 878-6914