Best Practices in the Evaluation of Teaching
Effective instructor evaluation is complex and requires the use of multiple measures—formal and informal, traditional and authentic—as part of a balanced evaluation system. The student voice, a critical element of that balanced system, is appropriately complemented by instructor self-assessment and the reasoned judgments of other relevant parties, such as peers and supervisors. Integrating all three elements allows instructors to take a mastery approach to formative evaluation, trying out new teaching strategies and remaining open to feedback that focuses on how they might improve. Such feedback is most useful when it occurs in an environment that fosters challenge, support, and growth. Rather than being demoralized by their performance rankings, faculty can concentrate on their individual efforts and compare current progress to past performance. They can then concentrate on developing better teaching methods and skills rather than fearing or resenting comparisons to others. The evaluation of teaching thus becomes a rewarding process, not a dreaded event.
Keywords: summative evaluation, formative evaluation, evaluation of teaching, mastery orientation