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Appendix F

Guidelines on Methods of Teaching Evaluation for Renewal, Tenure & Promotions

(formally Appendix E)

The ATP has developed guidelines as to what constitutes an adequate documentation of teaching quality presented for tenure consideration. The principle behind these guidelines is that teaching quality should be assessed holistically by looking at multiple forms of evidence.

The ATP has established some forms of evidence to be common, i.e. required, elements; these are listed below. Chairs are encouraged to consult with the Provost should they have questions about the guidelines or if the department wishes to substitute alternative forms of evaluation for any of the common elements listed below.

Candidates and departments may wish to supplement the "Common Elements" with additional material; some examples of what other material can be submitted may be found in the section below titled "Examples of Other Evidence Which Can Be Put Forth by Candidate for Review."

Common Elements

  1. Department Chair's evaluation of teaching (part of Chair's statement).  This section of the Chair’s Statement should be a commentary and analysis of all of the primary evidence on teaching quality found in the common elements listed below and the additional elements as appropriate.  It should speak to the progress the candidate has made to improve and expand his/her teaching capabilities since the initial appointment and especially since the Third Year Review. 
  2. Representative course syllabi, generally the most current version of all courses taught.
  3. Candidate's teaching statement, including a reflective commentary on the teaching experience, on the development of course materials and syllabi, on student ratings, and on  interactions with and mentoring of students; normally 3-4 pages (single spaced) in length.
  4. Letters attesting to any extra-departmental teaching efforts, including Barnard College programs such as First-Year Seminar and in other departments or interdisciplinary programs, as well as graduate teaching done for the counterpart Columbia department or teaching for any other Columbia program.
  5. Reports on peer review of teaching and course materials by tenured faculty, at least once in third year and once in the fifth or sixth year of counted service.

    Regular peer review of teaching by classroom visitation is encouraged. It should involve a visit by a tenured member of the department (or related department) to a class at a pre-arranged time, a discussion between the candidate and the tenured faculty member in advance of the class visit to go over the course syllabus and discuss the particular aims of the class session, and a written memo to the candidate and Chair after the class visit providing both a description and an evaluation of the class observed. Such visits are to be conducted at least once in the third and once in the fifth or sixth year of counted service.

    Each visit should be conducted by a different member of tenured faculty; if there are not at least two tenured members of a department, the Chair will consult with the Provost concerning appointment of a member of the tenured faculty from a related department.

    Should a department wish to substitute some other form of peer review, the department should describe the alternative form in a memo to the ATP, and the ATP will work with the department to agree upon a suitable alternative.

  6. Summary of student ratings on answers to objective questions, especially on summary measures of instructor effectiveness and overall evaluation of course; these should be accompanied by average departmental data for comparison. 

    The department chair is expected to evaluate the information obtained from the student ratings by comparison to ratings of other faculty in the department and the consistency of student ratings with other means of evaluating teaching, e.g. peer review.

    The number of courses chosen for data analysis and presentation depends in part on the number and types of courses the candidate has taught.  All courses taught in the preceding three years generally constitute a reasonable sample.  If questions arise, consult the Manager, Academic Programs and Faculty Support or the Provost.           

    Use of the College Form is strongly encouraged. If a department wishes to use an alternative rating form, it should include some comparable form of the "global" questions on the College ratings sheet. i.e., What is your overall rating of this instructor? Of this course?

    Ratings information on "first-time offered" classes will normally be excluded from data presented to the ATP.

    The Chair should consult with the Provost about the means by which the information from departmental questionnaires is summarized for the ATP. The Chair will supervise the Department Assistant in the assembly and presentation of this information in a format that is user-friendly for members of the ATP and Standing Committees.

  7. Unredacted student comments assembled by the department from student ratings questionnaires from representative courses taught.

    In general, all student comments should be tabulated for all the courses taught in the preceding three years, to accompany the data from the objective questions on the student course evaluation forms.

    If, because of large enrollments, the volume of the student comments is excessively large so as to make submission of unredacted comments from all courses taught in the preceding three years unwieldy, a sampling of the comments may be substituted, accompanied by a statement explaining the sampling procedure employed and how many comments were reviewed, e.g. of 120 narrative student comments in one course, 70 were randomly chosen by the Chair. The Chair will supervise the Department Assistant or Faculty Secretary in the preparation of a typed copy of these student comments.

  8. Letters from former students/recent alumnae solicited by the Chair in some planned, consistent manner, agreed upon by the ATP and Provost. 

    The dossier should include eight to twelve such letters (or emails).  To ensure this number, the Chair is advised to send requests out to approximately 20 former students/recent alumnae.  One could, for example, request letters from all senior thesis advisees of the candidate in the past 3-4 years, if that will yield the approximate sample.  The candidate may be asked to suggest names, but such letters should not substitute for the sample requested independently by the Chair.

Examples of Other Evidence Which Can Be Put Forth by Candidate for Review

  1. Data from additional questions on student ratings questionnaire geared to discipline and/or type/level of course.
  2. Report(s) from faculty with whom candidate participated in a team-taught course.
  3. Evidence of participation in, or leadership of, curriculum development grants.
  4. Scholarship on discipline-related pedagogy.
  5. Assessment of curricular materials by experts in the discipline.
  6. Participation in teaching workshops, e.g. FYS.
  7. Videotapes of classes.
  8. Products of course assignments and other evidence of student learning/outcomes.

Revised May 2009