OSU‑M's Policy on the Evaluation of Teaching
(Approved by Faculty Assembly 11/30/90; amended 11/4/94 and 1/25/02)
This policy is intended to provide standards and mechanisms for both summative and formative evaluations of teaching. The overriding purpose is to improve the quality of instruction.
I. Student Evaluation
1. In accordance with University rules, all faculty, including temporary, part‑time instructors, must give students the opportunity to evaluate every section of every course when offered, including written evaluation by students of the course and instructors. (Rule 3335‑3‑35 (13)).
2. Faculty must use the student evaluation of instruction (SEI) to assess every course, except independent studies or courses with fewer than five students. Faculty may supplement the SEI with other instruments of their choosing, especially to solicit written comments that might illuminate the SEI responses.
3. According to Faculty Rule 3335‑47‑02(D), the Department Chair is responsible for documenting teaching effectiveness at the time of promotion and tenure decision. Thus, nontenured, tenure‑track faculty should maintain a file of documentation for each course taught. These faculty members should determine from their respective Department Chairs, the Dean and Director of the Mansfield Campus (See Faculty Rule 3335‑3‑291(B(6)), and the Mansfield Campus Promotion and Tenure Committee what documentation is required.
4. All instruments must be administered according to the following procedures:
(a) The required SEI and any other instrument used for summative evaluation shall be administered during the last two weeks of class, ideally during the final class session. Student evaluations shall not be administered at the time of the final exam. Instruments used by the faculty for formative purposes may be administered at any time.
(b) The instructor will designate students from the class to collect assessment forms. One student will collect the computerized SEI responses; another will collect written comments if solicited. The students will use separate envelopes to deliver each instrument to the Dean’s Office. The instructor may also ask a colleague to administer the forms. In any case, the evaluation must be administered by someone other than the instructor.
(c) The instructor will not be present in the classroom when the assessment forms are completed and collected.
(d) When written comments are solicited, the instructor will indicate on the envelope whether the instrument is to be used for his or her own diagnostic purposes or for evaluation by the Administration and/or the Promotion and Tenure Committee. If the former is indicated, the Dean's secretary will return the forms to the instructor after final grades are turned in. If the latter is indicated, the Dean will retain the forms for a week to ten days after grades are turned in and then return them to the instructor. The computerized SEI results will be returned to the instructor generally three to four weeks into the following quarter.
(e) Written comments returned directly to the faculty member will not be considered for evaluation at annual review or promotion and tenure times.
II. Peer Evaluation
1. All probationary faculty and those who are candidates for promotion must provide a consistent record of peer evaluation that can be used for evaluative purposes. This should involve at least one visit by a departmental colleague or a member of the campus Peer Evaluation of Teaching Committee each year. The latest of these visits should occur within one year of the P & T decision.
2. The arrangement of peer reviews is the responsibility of the department and/or the campus, not the faculty member under review. To that end, the Mansfield campus has a Peer Evaluation of Teaching Committee (PET) consisting of all tenured members of the OSU-M faculty.
(a) At the beginning of each academic year the PET Committee will arrange a peer evaluation for each probationary faculty member and any tenured faculty member seeking promotion.
(b) The administration may also request a PET review for faculty not under consideration for promotion. Faculty may also request a PET review in addition to the minimum requirements and may ask the PET committee to help conduct formative reviews.
(c) The PET Committee leadership will select two reviewers for each person under review and formally ask these persons to write a joint letter of evaluation that will be sent to the Dean/Director, the candidate’s P & T file, and to the chair(s) of the PET Committee. A copy of this letter shall be sent to the person reviewed, and, if the candidate so desires, the reviewers will meet with him or her to discuss the letter.
(d) Results of formative reviews (those used for diagnostic purposes) shall be shared only with the reviewee, either in writing or in person. These reviews will not be used for evaluation, and they will not replace the required summative reviews for untenured faculty.
(e) The PET Committee leadership will also contact the persons under review informing them of procedures and the identity of the reviewers selected.
(f) PET reviewers shall make the initial contact with the candidate, arrange a mutually agreeable date (or dates) for classroom visits, discuss in advance of the visit the candidate’s philosophy of teaching, and review course materials, including syllabi and exams. The candidate shall prepare a statement of philosophy of teaching and a self-evaluation to share with the reviewers and to attach to the letter of evaluation.
3. Individual departments may have policies on the evaluation of teaching that faculty in those departments will have to follow in addition to campus policies. The Department Chair is responsible for arranging peer reviews.
(a) Whatever the department policy, this campus must encourage peer visits from departmental colleagues. Visits from colleagues in one=s own department can be especially valuable in the assessment of course content. Departmental colleagues can better judge whether or not there is appropriate breadth, depth, and rigor and whether or not the course incorporates the latest scholarship.
(b) To arrange such visits the OSU-M Dean/Director (or an appropriate designee) shall contact relevant department chairs at the beginning of each academic year to establish the visit schedule or the mechanism for creating one. The dean shall also work with the faculty member under review to create a packet of course materials, including syllabi and exams, to be given to departmental reviewers at the time of their peer visit.
4. The Faculty Assembly has mandated that there be peer reviews of special contract faculty who either have full-time instructional responsibilities or who have an ongoing commitment to the campus. Included among special contract faculty are those members of the administrative and professional staff who engage in classroom teaching.
(a) These persons shall be peer reviewed at least once every two years.
(b) The PET Committee shall have the responsibility of arranging such evaluations according to procedures outlined in 2 above.
(c) Peer reviews of special contract faculty may be conducted by one colleague using the evaluation form attached. These colleagues may be a member of the PET Committee but they can also be untenured regular faculty or other special contract faculty. The choice of reviewers will be made by the PET Committee.
(d) Evaluations shall be sent to the Associate Dean, the Chair of the PET Committee, and to the person under review.
5. Formative peer reviews (those with a diagnostic purpose) are especially useful in improving teaching, and this policy encourages such efforts. These can be arranged with the help of the PET Committee, the Office of Faculty and TA Development at the Columbus campus, or individual colleagues. Such reviews are designed to fit the needs of the faculty member under review and shall not be used for summative evaluations.
III. Training of Peer Reviewers
1. Each autumn quarter, the OSU-M professional development committee, in consultation with leadership of the PET Committee, shall sponsor a training program for those who will be conducting peer reviews.
2. These sessions may involve speakers from the Office of Faculty and TA Development or other recognized experts on teaching evaluation. Or they may involve a general discussion among campus colleagues. In any case, emphasis shall be placed on the characteristics of quality teaching, the criteria that should be used in peer evaluations, and how campus faculty can encourage the improvement of teaching.