Uniformity in Assessing Teaching Effectiveness: A Guide for Supervisors, Department Chairs and Administrators

As per the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP), every year a report “shall be written such that each faculty member’s annual performance in the areas of teaching, research (or creative activity), and service can be placed in one of the following four categories: “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “does not meet expectations,” or “unsatisfactory.” (Review Criteria under Policy 6-725, 1-B-2).

ar tenured faculty template 

Figure. Sample Form for the Annual Evaluation of Tenured Faculty Members

Following the written evaluation, department chairs or in some cases, the members of the ACTP on the departmental level, will rate the faculty member in accordance with university guidelines.  Tenured and tenure-track faculty members are scored from 0 (fails to meet expectations) to 3 (exceeds expectations) in the areas of teaching, service and research. The criteria used for scoring faculty in these areas have not heretofore been clearly defined resulting in wide-spread disparity across campus.  Some units give all threes for exceeds expectations, while others are stricter in their assessment.  This makes it difficult to reliably compare scores across units and consequently, throughout the university. Furthermore, there is a perception that it is not clear how these scores are interpreted by the upper administration. In other words, what are the implications for getting “meets expectations” in all three areas of teaching, service and research, vis-à-vis “exceeds expectations”?  Members of ACTP and CCTP committees frequently find themselves second-guessing how these scores will be viewed further along the line and to what consequence for the candidate who is being evaluated or who is seeking tenure or promotion.

Therefore, the Evaluation of Teaching Performance Task Force recommends the implementation of a Teaching Performance Check-list document as an attempt to establish more uniformity across individual units when assessing teaching performance and/or when assigning a final score for evaluative purposes.  Rubrics, like the sample given below, provide a coherent set of criteria for evaluating teaching effectiveness and will help to ensure uniformity across campus.

Assessment Chart

Table.  Sample teaching effectiveness rubric for differentiating between ‘meets expectations’ and ‘exceeds expectations’

Faculty members, department chairs, supervisors, and deans may use the following document when assessing a faculty member’s overall performance in the area of teaching.  The .pdf file also allows for the addition of discipline-specific items that are not currently included on the form and that might fall under the category of exceeds expectations in accordance with a particular discipline’s teaching performance standards and best practices.

Meets-Exceeds Expectations Checklist v2 (pdf)*

* For access to this document, please contact CRTLE at crtle@uta.edu