1P6 Determining and Documenting Effective Teaching and Learning
Documentation of effective teaching and learning involves long standing processes that are modified as circumstances require. Student evaluation is a very important source of documenting teaching effectiveness.
In the hiring process, faculty candidates send
evidence of teaching effectiveness. Most
candidates give a discipline-related presentation.
Each year, every faculty member prepares an
annual evaluation that documents accomplishments in teaching, scholarship/creative
activities, and service. The documentation includes, for example, results from
(for every class every semester), teaching
innovations, and evidence of student success. If serious weaknesses in teaching
are noted, the chairperson, dean, and the Provost/Vice President for Academic
and Student Affairs suggest specific improvements that are expected within
the next academic year.
The tenure and promotion process begins with a portfolio created by the faculty member which documents and evaluates the quality of instruction, scholarship/creative activities, and service. Documents of teaching effectiveness include the following:
- Peer Evaluation
- Peer (internal and external anonymous) and chair evaluations
- Classroom observation
- Peer review of course material
- Student Evaluation
- Student evaluation survey numerical summaries from every course every semester
- Written student evaluation comments
- Faculty interpretation of student evaluations
- Qualitative and quantitative student evaluation comparisons in relation to other departmental and Western faculty
- Course Materials
- Course organization (syllabi, objectives, assignments, tests, lecture notes, and student evaluations)
- Pedagogical innovation (peer evaluation,
curriculum proposals, professional growth,
and application to classroom)
- Other Materials
- Brief overall self-assessment of instructional role(s)
- List of courses taught, number of students, and grade distributions
- Annual chair evaluation
- Tenure and distinguished faculty process with required documentation
- Teaching effectiveness recognitions and awards
- Documentation of student success
- Retention data
The departmental peer review committee, department chairperson, the college dean, institutional tenure and promotion committee, and finally the Provost review these materials. Each of these evaluation entities reads the tenure/ promotion portfolio and gives an evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses (if any) and makes a promotion/tenure recommendation. At each stage the faculty member may address any disagreement relative to reviewers’ comments (with an exception being the anonymous peer reviewers). The Provost evaluates all materials and considers any
differences in recommendations and makes a recommendation to the President. The President makes a recommendation to the Board of Governors (Policy Guide, 2: VI).
Three faculty awards recognize and reward teaching excellence: the Jessie Lee Meyers Award (primarily for teaching with notable scholarship), the James E. Mehl Award (primarily for scholarship with notable good teaching), and the Western Governors’ Distinguished Faculty Award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate excellence in all three areas of teaching, scholarship/ creative activities, and service.
Individuals may self-nominate, or others may nominate faculty to be considered for these awards. For the Meyers and Mehl Awards, the application materials are given to the appropriate dean, who reviews all applications and recommends three individuals for the Meyers and one person for the Mehl awards. Nominees from the two colleges are next reviewed by a committee composed of the two deans, the Provost, and faculty senate president. The strongest three faculty receive the Meyers Award, and one person receives the Mehl Award. The Governors’ Award recipients are chosen by a committee composed of faculty, deans, and the Provost. Over the past two years approximately half of all nominees have received the award.
grades, general education, and discipline-specific
graduate senior exit assessments, assessments of
applied learning activities, and the judging of
student performances/shows in art, music, and
communication studies/video provide inputs into the processes used for improving teaching and learning. The outcomes of senior exit/licensing assessments
are presented in sections 1R1, 1R2, and 1R3.