Balanced Faculty Evaluation
Since the beginning of the IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction (SRI) in 1975, we have emphasized the concept - “student voice matters” - as it is an important part of getting a clear picture of how effective an instructor is in ensuring that students learn.
But even with the understanding that student ratings are important and necessary, we have also clearly articulated that this feedback is just one piece of the puzzle. Other forms of information about instructor effectiveness are needed to create an accurate and balanced evaluation. This is especially true when such evaluations are being used for tenure and promotion, merit pay, and other personnel-related decision making.
Institutions can create a system of faculty evaluation that considers multiple sources of evidence such as classroom observation, self-evaluation, review of curriculum materials, student feedback and more, to create a holistic view of how effective faculty are as well as providing resources for improving instruction. This balanced evaluation of faculty is crucial to an institution’s success at improving instruction as well as ensuring the fair and meaningful evaluation of faculty--a process that should be transparent and involve faculty from the beginning.
There are many ways a balanced system of evaluation can be achieved. The Balanced Evaluation of Teaching (BET) Model is one example. Student feedback is considered and contributes to the evaluation, but it is just one component.
Read more about balanced faculty evaluation in our IDEA Paper, Best Practices in the Evaluation of Teaching - IDEA Paper #69.