Using the Protocol for Evaluation of Teaching

Using the Protocol for Evaluation of TeachingThe Peer Review of Teaching Protocol/Peer Review of Online Teaching Protocol can be used for evaluation of teaching; e.g., for annual reviews and promotion and tenure. Current UA Promotion and Tenure guidelines for both tenure- and career-track instructors include a review of teaching portfolios; evaluation of teaching is part of those portfolios.

Recommended guidelines for using the protocol for evaluation of teaching:

  • Department faculty members agree on which Classroom Observation Tool items will be used for all teaching evaluations in that department. (No more than 20 items is recommended; we recommend creating a departmental template.)
  • For review of online courses, all items on the Online Course Review Tool are scored.
  • For tenure-track reviews, reviewers are tenured faculty members. For career-track reviews, reviewers hold a higher rank than the promotion candidate.
  • Reviewers consciously strive to set aside any biases; e.g. those related to gender, ethnicity, and teaching style. For more information on unconscious bias, see http://diversity.arizona.edu/sites/diversity/files/hidden_unconscious_bias._a_primer.pdf. For information on how faculty gender and race impact teaching experiences, see http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/CRLT_no19.pdf.
  • Pre- and post-observation/review meetings are held, to prepare for and debrief classroom observations/course site reviews. These meetings can be streamlined versions of those used for formative review of teaching.
    • Pre-observation/review meeting focuses on instructor’s goals and learning outcomes for the course, what s/he asks students to do to attain the learning outcomes, and how s/he assesses students’ learning.
    • Post-observation/review meeting focuses on what aspects of the course are going well and where improvements are needed, based on class observations/course reviews.
  • For on-ground courses, more than one class session is observed or more than one reviewer observes different class sessions to provide a more reliable sense of the candidate’s overall teaching quality. For review of online courses, multiple reviewers of the course site or reviews at different points during the semester can provide a more reliable view of the candidate.
  • Reviewers prepare a letter addressed to the department head that summarizes the candidate’s strengths and areas that need development, citing specific examples from the class observations/course site reviews.
  • The instructor is also given a copy of the letter, and has an opportunity to write a response to the department head if so desired.
  • The following questions can be used as a guide for preparing the summary letter: 
    • What is the class that was observed/reviewed (level, format, content)?
    • How many class sessions were observed and how many observers collaborated on this review?
    • What did the instructor do during the class sessions/in online learning activities and assessments to engage students in learning important content? How could the instructor improve student engagement?
    • What did the instructor do during the class sessions/in online learning activities and assessments to assess students’ learning of important content (informally or formally)? How could the instructor improve student assessment?

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If you have any questions about the use of the Peer Review of Teaching Protocol or would like to provide any feedback, please email Ingrid Novodvorsky.