Report finds changes in teaching evaluation practices

May 22, 2014

A new study released by the American Association of University Professors reveals significant changes to faculty evaluations since the year 2000. The authors of the report emphasize 3 broad trends that emerged in the research, which compared a survey of 538 academic deans to base results from a 2000 study. First, the use of systematic student ratings has increased both in prevalence and in importance when making personnel decisions. Second, self-evaluation and classroom observation are becoming more common assessment practices. Finally, while department chairs and deans continue to play significant parts in evaluating teaching, their role has diminished in favour of committee-based evaluation. The authors note that it is unclear whether these changes correlate with any improvement in assessment practices, though those surveyed indicated their belief that improved evaluation practices would lead to improved teaching performance. (Meanwhile, several Ontario colleges are working with Academica Group to pilot an improved Teacher Evaluation tool, emphasizing the utility of the assessment for faculty. The results from this pilot will be available sometime in summer.) Education Dive | Full Report