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POLICY
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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY

Evaluation of Teaching: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester

Policy Contents
Effective Date: April 2009
Last Update: January 2015
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Policy Contact:
  • Updated: January 2015
  • Primary Contact : Ole Gram
CONSULTED WITH: Faculty Senate

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

Evaluation of teaching provides information (1) to help improve teaching, (2) to be used for faculty tenure decisions and salary and promotion decisions based on merit, and (3) to assist students in course selection. The methods used are:

  • Student ratings of teaching
  • Peer evaluations

A. General Provisions for Evaluation of Teaching

  1. All instructors, regardless of their academic rank or tenure status, will have their teaching performance evaluated.
  2. The process for evaluating teaching used in tenure and promotion decisions must follow Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure.
  3. Student rating data, including the response rates for the data, may be used in personnel decisions for faculty and instructional staff whose salary is fully or partially based on teaching, (e.g., merit and salary reviews, promotion, tenure for tenure-track faculty).
    • The results must be shared with the instructor being reviewed.
    • Only those individuals who are responsible for decisions on reappointment, promotion, tenure, and salary adjustments may have access to information about a specific instructor.
    • Instructors are allowed to respond to student rating results by adding written comments to their files that are communicated to individuals responsible for personnel decisions.
  4. When used for salary, promotion, and tenure decisions, information from student ratings should be used in conjunction with other relevant metrics to assess instructional effectiveness.
  5. The academic unit must maintain a record of the instructor's contributions to teaching, including cumulative summaries of student ratings of the instructor’s courses. Units must protect the materials as private data.
  6. To assist students in course selection, students may view Student Rating of Teaching responses that pertain to a course and not to a specific individual.
  7. Student rating data should be used with other types of information to identify instructors who deserve rewards as well as instructors who may need assistance in improving their classroom effectiveness. When used for salary, promotion, and tenure decisions, these data should be used in conjunction with other relevant metrics.
  8. Custom Items

    Colleges and departments may, after consultation with, and approval from, the vice provost for faculty and academic affairs, add custom items to the Student Rating of Teaching form. If custom items are added by a department or college, that unit will make available to instructors a written policy that defines which data from the custom items will be used (1) for improvement of teaching, (2) for personnel decisions, and (3) for improving courses or programs.

    • Data used solely for teaching improvement will be provided only to the instructor.
    • Data to be used for personnel decisions will be available to individuals charged with reviewing instructor performance.
    • Data to be used for course and program improvement will be available to curriculum committees and similar bodies only in aggregated form and will not be identified with individual instructors. In all instances, the data will be provided to the instructor.

B. Student Rating of Teaching Form and Requirements

  1. Every course with a University course number will be rated by the use of student rating forms every time it is offered, except that thesis-only credits, directed or independent study, and internships will not be rated using such forms. For courses with one instructor but multiple components (e.g., lab, lecture, recitation, etc.), departments have the discretion to evaluate the components separately. For courses with multiple components, each taught by a different instructor, each component should be evaluated separately.
  2. The standard student rating form (see Appendix X) will be used except that:
    • In courses with more than two instructors, departments and/or colleges that wish to use alternative evaluation procedures must seek written approval from the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP).
    • Academic units in which student evaluation procedures must meet national accreditation standards may use alternative evaluation procedures with written approval from SCEP.
    • A department that wishes to use an alternative form for a course must receive written approval from SCEP.
  3. All students present when the evaluation is conducted, or all students enrolled in online courses, must be provided the student rating form. Completed forms will be submitted anonymously. Students, regardless of the rating protocol or method used, have the option to:
    1. opt-out of responding to one or more questions on the form; or
    2. opt-out of completing the entire student rating form.
  4. Instructors may not be present when the evaluations are completed and collected. Instructors may only see the completed forms after his or her grades have been turned in.
  5. Students who have withdrawn from the course may not participate in the rating of that course.
  6. The dean or chancellor of each college or campus, in consultation with the faculty, will determine whether and how written comments on student evaluation forms may be used in personnel decisions. In units where all written comments on students' ratings of teaching are sent to the chair and/or to reviewing-bodies and are included in the file, unfairly prejudicial comments will be withheld from the file upon request of the instructor concerned and accordingly will not be part of annual or other reviews. The decision whether particular comments are unfairly prejudicial will be made by the chair, a senior faculty member designated through a process determined by the department, or a standing or ad-hoc committee. This provision is intended to cover offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic, and other personal comments, and is not intended to exclude from the file negative comments directly related to the course.
  7. The original completed student-rating forms will be returned to the instructor with any student demographic information removed. Information from electronic forms will be made available to the instructor.

C. Peer Evaluation of Teaching

Peer review should include assessment of the instructor's knowledge of the subject matter, general contributions to departmental teaching efforts, and any other teaching contributions. (see Appendix for best practice guidelines.)

  1. Peer review process.
    1. Every academic unit should have a documented process for peer review of every instructor’s teaching efforts and contributions to teaching, both for purposes of promotion decisions and for teaching-based salary increases. The academic unit should evaluate instructors in ways appropriate to the discipline, and include consideration of activities outside the classroom such as facilitating student research, advising students, and other activities related to students' educational programs.
    2. The peer-review process must include consideration of any additional materials identified by the instructor as relevant to the evaluation. Instructors are encouraged to prepare and regularly update a teaching portfolio that contains materials that will be considered during his/her evaluation.
  2. Faculty peer review.
    1. Faculty peers are responsible for evaluating teaching conducted by tenured and tenure-track faculty as outlined in Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure, Administrative Policy: Faculty Compensation, and Administrative Procedure: Reviewing Candidates for Tenure and/or Promotion: Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty.
    2. Both faculty and instructional staff may participate in the evaluation of instructors who are not tenure-track or tenured faculty.

Exclusions

This policy is not applicable to the Duluth and Crookston campuses.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy establishes standards and processes for evaluating of teaching: peer review and student rating of teaching for the campuses of Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities.

It is essential to ensuring quality of instruction and providing feedback to instructors and supervisors.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Are there costs associated with administering custom items on a form?

    Units should consult the Office of Measurement Services to inquire about costs associated with administering a custom form or adding custom items on the Student Rating of Teaching form.

  2. Can instructors administer additional evaluation items?

    Instructors are encouraged to conduct early- and mid-semester course assessments for the purpose of receiving feedback about student learning during the term. Instructors may ask students to answer supplemental questions in the open-ended section of the standard rating form, on a separate sheet, or online. See http://z.umn.edu/earlyterm for more information about early- and mid-semester course assessments.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Primary Contact(s)
612-624-5082
Twin Cities Campus
612-624-5082
Morris Campus
320-589-6015
Rochester Campus
507-258-8006

DEFINITIONS

There are no definitions associated with this policy.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Convey to colleges the importance of teaching in decisions regarding promotion, tenure, and merit-pay increases.
  • Consult with colleges regarding custom items and exceptions to the policy.
Deans
  • Convey the importance of teaching in decisions regarding promotion, tenure, and merit-pay increases.
  • Consult with college governing bodies regarding the use of written comments in personnel decisions.
Department Heads
  • Convey to instructors the importance of teaching in decisions regarding promotion, tenure, and merit-pay increases.
  • Ensure that evaluation of teaching takes place in the unit.
  • Decide whether particular written comments are unfairly prejudicial.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
January 2015 - Comprehensive Review. Minor Revision. Key policy changes: 1. Meets the student requests for information that may aid in course selection by releasing course related information from the Student Rating Tool that does not violate Minnesota State Data Privacy law. 2. Eliminates unnecessary language related to policy compliance. 3. Revises the language regarding the authority to decide whether written comments may be used for personnel decisions.
Amended:
December 2014 - 1. Meets the student requests for information that may aid in course selection by releasing course related information from the Student Rating Tool that does not violate Minnesota State Data Privacy law. 2. Eliminates unnecessary language related to policy compliance. 3. Revises the language regarding the authority to decide whether written comments may be used for personnel decisions.
Effective:
April 2009

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Last modified on January 26, 2015