Teaching Handbook

Faculty Assessment

Along with the evaluation of a student’s learning, how well they receive the instruction is pivotal.  Not every student reacts the same to different instruction methods – students have different classroom preferences and learning styles, leading to different responses about the quality of an instructor.   

While the jury is still out on the overall reliability of student’s feedback for assessing professor performance, it still does warrant consideration.  Studies have shown that certain characteristics are consistently prevalent in strong professors, including their ability to convey the course material, how well they can draw students in, and the ways and demeanor in which they deal with students.  Additionally, students can give direct feedback on things typically not considered, like course materials and the understandability of the syllabus.1

In addition to student responses, feedback from other professionals at an institution can also go a long way in the evaluation process.  By looking at their teaching methods from an outside perspective, other professors can offer an educated, unbiased look and offer necessary praise and criticism.  Experience professionals bring is simply missing from student feedback, and gives faculty influence over the overall quality of instruction at their institution.2  Furthermore, excellent faculty members also contribute to the college through both direct and indirect contributions to their educational programs.3 Student feedback often misses these important factors in assessing faculty.

Teaching portfolios are an excellent tool for reporting on faculty excellence and can be used both formatively, for assessing and improving teaching, as well as summatively, for personnel decisions.

Combining self-assessment with peer review and student feedback provides a well-rounded evaluation of your strengths and opportunities for improvement. To get started, here a few resources for self-assement of your teaching.


Source Information

1. Angelo, T. A., & Cross, P. K., (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

2. Hutchings, Pat, (1996). The Peer Collaboration and Review of Teaching. Retrieved online.

3. Hoyt, D.P. & Pallet, W.H. (2014). Appraising Teaching Effectiveness: Beyond Student Ratings, Donald P. Hoyt and William H. Pallet, Idea Paper 36, The Idea Center.

See also: Tools and Techniques for Course Improvement, created by Richard Fry, WWU