Evaluation of Teaching
Executive officers should be vigilant about the quality of instruction in their units, intervening where necessary to help department members achieve the level of performance that the university expects and requires. All faculty should be made aware of how teaching is evaluated and of how such evaluations are used as data in decisions about retention, promotion and tenure, and salary adjustments. Since teaching evaluations are an important component of Promotion and Tenure dossiers, unit heads should be certain that their faculty members' teaching is regularly evaluated both by students and by peers.
Online Student Evaluations of Teaching
The Office for Faculty Affairs offers all Colleges and Departments the opportunity to participate in an online course evaluation system provided via the Office for Faculty Affairs. Detailed information about the UIC Student Evaluation of Teaching Program can be found below.
Peer Evaluation of Teaching
Peer teaching evaluation is an important tool for developing and maintaining excellence of instruction. In order to make this process meaningful for those evaluated and for the committees that review faculty for tenure and promotion, the Executive Committee of LAS is recommending the following guidelines for peer teaching evaluation:
- Those on a promotional path should be evaluated at least once a year.It is recommended that there be periodic review also of those who have achieved the highest level of promotion.
- In addition to the formal written evaluation, there should be a meeting between the evaluator and faculty member evaluated at which verbal feedback is given for the purposes of mentoring.
- Faculty should have the opportunity to provide a response to the departmental executive officer in writing to their written evaluations, which would then become part of the record.
- A consistent set of questions about basic pedagogy should be addressed in each peer evaluation. This set of questions is provided on the next page. Because the main purpose of teaching evaluations is to improve the quality of teaching overall reviewers should make a point of including constructive criticism and helpful suggestions. Anyone’s teaching can be improved in some way, and peer teaching evaluations are an excellent opportunity to share best practices. Units should either provide reviewers with this list of questions to guide their review, or develop a review form that elicits the relevant information in this list, as well as any additional information, if any, the unit wishes the review to include.
Comment on the design of the course, including the level of difficulty, material covered, and pacing.
Are the learning outcomes well considered?
Is the course designed to meet them effectively?
Comment on the nature and number of assignments for the course.
Are they appropriate to the material
Are there a sufficient number of them? Too many?
Are they well-designed to assess whether stated learning outcomes are being met?
Are they clearly articulated?
Comment on the syllabus and related handouts.
Are they clear and complete?
Do they make the desired learning outcomes and expectations clear?
Do they provide required information about student rights and resources (see Academic Affairs policy and template at https://faculty.uic.edu/syllabi-required-for-scheduled-courses/).
Comment on classroom teaching.
Is the pace and difficulty of material appropriate to the course?
Is the lecture/discussion well structured?
Are explanations clear?
Does the instructor make effective use of the blackboard and/or other instructional media?
Were the goals of the class session clearly articulated?
Did the class meeting accomplish those goals?
Comment on classroom atmosphere/general performance.
Was the instructor on time?
Was the session well attended?
Was the instructor enthusiastic?
Did he or she have good rapport with the students, treating them respectfully and encouraging their participation?
Were the students engaged?
Did they ask questions at a level appropriate to the class format (i.e. lecture or discussion)?
Was the climate in the classroom conducive to learning?
What feedback do you plan give the faculty member on the basis of your observation?
What are some of the particular strengths of the course design? Of the teaching style?
What specific recommendations do you plan to make with respect to the design of the course? With respect to classroom performance?