The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Policy # [####]
UW Oshkosh Faculty Teaching Evaluation (FAC 6.4)
Original Issuance Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Last Revision Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Next Review Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
2. RESPONSIBLE OFFICER
6. POLICY STATEMENT
UW Oshkosh Faculty Teaching Evaluation Policy
[Formerly, in part, FAC 6.4 and FAC 6.6. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Policy and Procedures]
Amended by Faculty Senate: February 17, 2015
Revision Approved: November 3, 2020
Next Review Date: November 3, 2025
This policy describes the UW Oshkosh procedures and expectations related to the evaluation of teaching by tenured and tenure-track faculty members and instructional academic staff, collectively referred to as “faculty” hereafter in this policy.
This policy describes UW Oshkosh policy and procedures for the evaluation of faculty teaching. Informed evaluations of faculty teaching are meaningful components of decisions related to renewal, promotion, and tenure, as well as merit-based compensation awards.
An informed evaluation of faculty teaching draws on data from many sources. Pursuant to Regent Policy Document 20-2, Student Evaluation of Instruction data are included in the data UW Oshkosh expects to be considered during the teaching evaluation process.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
For purposes of this policy, the terms “faculty” and “faculty member” refer to all faculty and instructional academic staff with teaching assignments.
“Evaluation of Faculty Teaching” and “teaching evaluation” refers to the process of assessing the quality of a faculty member’s pedagogical activity.
“Faculty performance review” refers to any periodic review conducted by an institution for such purposes as to determine whether to retain, promote, grant tenure, award a merit pay increase, or to monitor the performance of a faculty member. The results of teaching evaluation activity are one component of faculty performance reviews.
The UW Oshkosh Student Opinion Survey (SOS) instrument consists of a common core of questions administered online to students according to the UW Oshkosh Student Opinion of Instruction Data Collection Policy.
Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) data are collected from students using the university-wide SOS instrument as well as other surveys or questionnaires about instruction.
1. The ability to teach effectively is one of the chief criteria considered in decisions related to the renewal, promotion, and tenure of faculty, as well as merit-based compensation awards. UW Oshkosh evaluates teaching effectiveness through a variety of means, including, but not limited to:
a. peer observations of teaching;
b. evaluation of syllabi, examinations, and other course materials;
c. valuation of contributions to development and strengthening of departmental and college curricula; and
d. SEI data, including SOS results
2. Evaluation of faculty teaching is based on documentation submitted by instructors related to activity and/or outcomes in the following four categories:
a. course planning and preparation;
c. assessment and continuous improvement; and
d. professional development.
See the Appendix for a list of items that could be included in each category. Faculty members have the right to include in their personnel materials for consideration additional documentation to support teaching effectiveness beyond that listed in the Appendix.
3. Faculty members are responsible for the evidence and documentation in their personnel materials. Faculty members are responsible for ensuring that the information available to all levels of review meets all requirements of the unit and college and is sufficiently current and comprehensive to enable all levels of review to conduct a thorough evaluation of teaching effectiveness.
Every faculty member has a right to adequate feedback regarding the evaluations of their teaching performance and support in both obtaining the required evidence and documentation and in developing continuous improvement activities for teaching effectiveness. Units should provide faculty members with regular opportunities for qualitative teaching evaluation, including written feedback on teaching performance, consistent with Item #1 a-c.
If a faculty member is evaluated as “does not meet expectations” in Teaching, a performance improvement plan (PIP) must be jointly written by faculty member and either the reviewing committee or department chair. The PIP should include what specifically requires remediation, the training and/or development activity the faculty member will pursue, the resources the department will provide for the faculty member, specific and measurable improvement outcomes, a timeline for intermediate review of progress, and an expected date of termination of the PIP. All parties involved must sign the teaching improvement plan.
4. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to provide a narrative, with reference to evidence and documentation from each of the four performance categories that makes the strongest possible case for the faculty member’s teaching effectiveness.
5. Each academic college or other academic unit is responsible for establishing specific criteria for teaching evaluation and assigning weights across the teaching performance categories. The criteria must be common to all units (e.g., departments) within the College and must address all categories in section 2 (also see the Appendix). Colleges shall establish clear guidelines for the uniform presentation and consideration of SOS data for personnel decisions, consistent with Regent Policy Document 20-2 and with concerns addressed elsewhere in this policy. SOS data shall be used in conjunction with, and not as a substitute for other methods of evaluating teaching effectiveness.
a. Each unit (e.g., department) must have an established specific evaluation process, criteria, and evaluation weights used during each review period. Adopted procedures apply to all faculty members, tenured or untenured, in the unit; and the evaluation process must be uniform. No faculty member may establish their own evaluation process. Unit policy must be available to each faculty member within the unit.
b. The use of SOS data should focus on the distribution of responses to question prompts over time. Benchmarking should be based on distributions in comparative courses or learning experiences.
c. Units should not compare a faculty member’s SOS scores to those of other faculty or create a benchmark based on sums or averages of student responses, as these figures are not meaningful given the ordinal scale of the SOS instrument. Furthermore, it is unlikely that such comparisons would control for all variables outside of the faculty member’s control known to affect Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) data (see item #8).
6. The initial level of review (or supervisor) will prepare a rationale that makes the strongest possible case in support of the evaluation of faculty teaching (e.g., “does not meet expectations” or “meets expectations”). The rationale will specify the evidence from each pedagogical category (see Item #1) on which the judgment is based.
The initial level of review may request additional information from the faculty member that the faculty member did not include in the personnel record (see 4.B.6 (5) and 4.B.6 (6)). The faculty member owns the personnel materials and has the right to decline to provide the information if it is not part of the information known in advance to be required by unit, college, and/or university policy. A faculty member who fails to provide the minimum information required by the initial level of review may be judged “does not meet expectations” on that basis.
The initial level of review is responsible for informing candidates of inadequacies in their documentation of teaching effectiveness, so that they may improve their presentation of data in the future.
7. Committees and decision-makers beyond the academic unit must not prioritize Student Opinion Survey (SOS) data, and should take into account evidence of teaching effectiveness from all categories in item #1 according to the weights specified by the unit (per item #5) and made known to the faculty prior to the review period.
8. All levels of review should be cognizant of the limitations of and potential bias in SEI data. All interpretations, judgments, and evaluations must consider potential confounding variables as highlighted by the faculty member in their materials. These variables include, but are not limited to:
a. Class characteristics such as size, course level, program (graduate/undergraduate), course type (required/ elective), mode of instruction, department, and/or college;
b. Instructor characteristics such as gender, age, nationality, race, presence of an accent when speaking, years of teaching experience, and/or typical grade distribution.
Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities
Faculty Senate is responsible for the content and revision of this policy, consistent with Article 2 of the Faculty Constitution.
The Personnel Policies Committee of the Faculty Senate shall conduct a review of this policy at least once every five years. It may do so more frequently if governing policies change, at the request of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, or at the request of 25% of sitting Senators. If the Compensation Committee deems any changes necessary, it shall recommend those changes to the Faculty Senate.
The Faculty Senate approves changes to this policy by majority vote.
Related Policy Documents and Applicable Laws
UW Oshkosh Collection of Student Opinion of Instruction Data Policy
UW Oshkosh Improvement of Instruction Policy
This appendix contains suggested activities and potential documentation for the four teaching categories. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, and each individual faculty portfolio may or may not contain each item and may contain additional evidence as appropriate to the pedagogical activity of the faculty member.
1. Course Planning and Preparation
a. Degree of participation in new courses written and taken to the Curriculum Committee.
b. Degree of participation in major course revisions that were taken to the Curriculum Committee.
c. Major updating and change of courses beyond usual updating but not of sufficient nature to go through the Curriculum Committee (attach syllabus of old vs. new with the changes highlighted)
d. Development of materials for courses. This could include course manuals, audio-visual support, study guides, etc. (describe materials and/or attach)
e. Innovations in teaching. Describe alternative delivery systems you have tried or other innovations.
f. Self-evaluation of course planning and preparation activities.
g. Unique aspects about the courses taught or your load such as new preparations, overload, extensive travel for teaching responsibilities, etc.
h. Unit or individual research activities involving courses or teaching activities, program reviews, or other improvement of instruction assignments.
i. Efforts to incorporate materials and methods that address issues of diversity.
a. List of all courses taught, number of credits, and enrollments.
b. Narrative and/or graphical summary of student opinion survey results for the period of review.
c. Written student comments.
d. Other letters or evidence of student satisfaction with teaching.
e. Peer evaluations.
f. Self-evaluation of teaching.
g. Teaching awards received or other special recognitions related to teaching.
h. Independent study or readings course responsibilities.
i. Labor intensive teaching of basic skills (e.g. oral and written communications, computer skills, research skills, etc.)
3. Assessment and Continuous Improvement
a. Include copies of tests, assignments, and major projects used to evaluate student learning. Describe types of student learning assessed with each instrument.
b. List the names of students and your role on any comprehensive examination committees and thesis committees.
c. Identify advisement responsibilities at the undergraduate or graduate levels.
d. Self-evaluation of student learning, test validation, and providing feedback.
4. Professional Development
a. Professional development and service activities that enhanced teaching performance.
b. New or expanded areas of professional investigation relating to teaching responsibilities.
c. Reflection on how the research literature and advances in the academic field have impacted teaching practice.
9. REVISION HISTORY