For Faculties: Start Here
Holistic evaluation should connect the three aspects of teaching evaluation (student, peer, and self). A holistic representation of a faculty member’s teaching provides a more balanced perspective of teaching effectiveness than any one component alone.
According to section D(3) of the Holistic Evaluation Policy: “Each Faculty must develop their own procedures for how they will enact these components – evidence from peers, students and self – within their context, particularly related to the peer review of teaching, and how this policy will be reflected in the processes of appointments, reappointments, tenure and promotion.” In addition, according to the Policy, any “substantive review of teaching effectiveness (including appointment, reappointment, tenure and promotion), evidence of teaching effectiveness should be submitted as part of a comprehensive, reflective teaching dossier.”
With these parameters in mind, we pose the following questions to help Faculties in the creation of their holistic evaluation of teaching processes and procedures. These questions can be addressed using the following Faculty Policy Template or a format of your choosing.
Guiding Questions for Faculties Creating Holistic Evaluation Plans
Where do we start when we are creating a holistic evaluation plan?
Each Faculty will need to establish a committee to develop recommended processes for holistic evaluation of teaching. It is important for each Faculty to consider the structure of this committee. Who will lead this decision-making process to put forward recommendations to the Faculty, and who will co-ordinate it, if necessary, after the process is established?
- Will you include different position types and levels of experience on the decision-making committee?
- Will you include faculty from a range of departments/schools where a Faculty consists of multiple units?
- How often will the committee meet? Who will establish terms of reference? What timeline will be assigned?
- To whom will the committee make their recommendations?
How will teaching reviews be conducted? When? How often? And by whom?
Building trusting, respectful, and collegial relationships will enable reviewees to express what they wish the focus of the review to be, and to be open to hearing and responding to constructive criticism about their teaching to enhance student learning in their courses. Developmental feedback opportunities can be an equally valuable learning experience for the reviewer. The process(es) you select for Holistic Evaluation for your Faculty should ensure there is time for individual faculty members to engage fully in the process. Ideally, the created process should make time for developmental and evaluative review while balancing the workload considerations of reviewees and reviewers.
- What are the widely shared beliefs among colleagues in your Faculty about teaching and learning? How might these inform or challenge the development of this process and evaluation?
- Will your Faculty encourage its members to draw upon colleagues within their own departments, Faculty and/or across Faculties to review their teaching?
- Would reviewers external to the institution be required and/or welcomed, and under what circumstances?
- Which approach to review will would work best for your faculty: Pairs? Triads? Groups? Observations? Discussions? Action circles? A variety of different approaches? Perhaps faculty will be paired over time? Or perhaps they will be expected to obtain feedback from multiple people?
- Ideally teaching review should happen cyclically at regular intervals. What will be considered an appropriate interval of time, in your Faculty, between reviews of teaching? How many reviews will need to be obtained and how often?
How will teaching evaluations be conducted?
Establishing evaluation criteria will require thinking about the kinds of teaching and/or teaching materials being assessed, the frequency of assessment, and the tools that will be used to record evaluations. You might consider referencing this rubric made by the Centre. Your Faculty may also want to think about whether you will require any kind of preparation or training for faculty who will be reviewing teaching and/or teaching materials.
- Will individual faculty decide how they will evaluate one another? Or will there be an agreed upon criteria for evaluation? What rubrics or structures will be in place to guide the process? The committee may consider adapting the evaluation rubric provided by CLT.
- Will reviewees select the forms, rubrics, and/or templates used to review their teaching? Or will these documents be universal for everyone across the Faculty? Or perhaps reviewees might have a select choice of documents provided, to draw upon, depending on the nature of the teaching/teaching materials under review? (If your Faculty chose only one set of criteria or one rubric, would need to be flexible enough to encompass all relevant approaches to teaching and learning in your Faculty.) How can paperwork and administrative tasks be minimized to ensure a reasonable workload?
- How will different reviewers’ feedback be integrated into an over-arching evaluation?
- Will reviewees draw from a pool of pre-assigned faculty who have been prepared to do peer reviews of teaching (perhaps through an in-Faculty or CLT preparatory workshop), or will there be a more individual, fluid, and flexible peer selection process?
- Will reviewers be required to review student evaluation or informal feedback from students as part of the peer review of teaching?
- Will you require a preparation workshop for those faculty conducting reviews of teaching for evaluative purposes?
- Will the faculty member being evaluated draw on developmental feedback over time to create a narrative of their teaching development that will then be evaluated by a review committee?
- Will all faculty engage regularly in the evaluation of teaching, or only those who are coming up for re-appointment, tenure, or promotion?
- Will there be one evaluation point in time, or several, over time (and over what length of time)?
How will issues of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) be addressed?
D(4) of the Holistic Evaluation states: “The Faculty procedures should address principles of equity, inclusivity, diversity and accessibility, and the procedures developed under this policy should enable and facilitate diverse perspectives on course design, pedagogy, and assessment in line with effective and inclusive teaching and learning practices.”
- How will your Faculty ensure that principles of EDIA are thoroughly embedded into every step of this holistic evaluation process creation and execution, including considerations for who evaluates whom? For example: What is the relationship between the evaluator and the person being evaluated? What are the power dynamics between these two, or more, people? What pedagogical philosophies and approaches do they share, and where do they diverge?
- How will your Faculty ensure that the holistic evaluation process will not over-burden colleagues from equity-deserving groups? Or if we do call on faculty in these groups more often, how will your Faculty specifically acknowledge and recognize this work as integral to their position and the work of the Faculty and the university.
- How can your Faculty work to limit reviewees’ experience of bias in evaluation both through the peer review process and via student evaluations?
How will a reviewee present their evidence of effective teaching through a Teaching Dossier?
While the Centre for Learning and Teaching provides a Teaching Dossier template for faculty use and adaptation, your Faculty might wish to consider if there are any additional sections required for teaching within the Faculty or if a different organizational format will be established.
- How should instructors format their teaching dossiers? What sections should it contain?
- How much evidence from each category should be provided (student, peer, self), and what should the formatting look like in each category?
- How should student evaluation data be represented and discussed?
- How long will the dossier be expected to be? (minimum/maximum)
- Will the candidate be expected to demonstrate alignment between each form of evidence?
- Will the candidate be expected to share their reflection of change over time? What worked? What didn’t? How were challenges addressed and what was the outcome?
How will you communicate the Holistic Evaluation process to faculty?
Once the process is established you will need a way to communicate the process(es) in an on-going way.
- In which place(s) will the information be found?
- Who will be the primary contact in your Faculty for questions about the Holistic Evaluation Process?
- Who will be responsible for up-dating this information as needed?
- Who will ensure that chairs of tenure, promotion, and re-appointment committees are aware of your Faculty’s holistic evaluation process(es) and/or criteria for assessment?
If a faculty member believes they have been unfairly treated in the context of a Faculty’s Holistic Evaluation of Teaching process, what course of action should they take?
- Should a faculty member speak to the Chair of the Committee, the Chair of their Department, the DFA, if they have concerns?
- Should a Faculty-level grievance process be created for when such circumstances arise?
- Should your Faculty establish a process for reviewing your holistic evaluation of teaching process periodically to ensure it is still meeting the needs of the Faculty?