Announcing the Curated Teaching Evaluation Change Initiative Repositorypublished Sep 15, 2023 4:22pm
The Aligning Faculty Incentives with Systemic Change Working Group is excited to report we havecurated a repository of teaching evaluation change initiatives to support national efforts at the systemic change of faculty teaching evaluation. Teaching evaluation is an area of critical focus for systemic change efforts to align undergraduate students' experience in STEM courses with best practices for inclusive learning (NASEM, 2020; Boyer 2030 Commission, 2023). Since the academy is deeply resistant to change (Wise et al., 2022), it is critical to share innovations that have successfully impacted teaching evaluation with the systemic change community (e.g., Simonson et al., 2023). We have created the Curated Teaching Evaluation Initiative Repository to meet this need. For the repository, we define an initiative as a concerted program or set of related efforts that have been undertaken to change the policies, processes, or practices around teaching evaluation. These initiatives are not limited to resources for individual faculty to change their teaching practices but instead describe efforts that have been successful in creating systemic change.
Each initiative on the site has been peer-reviewed by the repository editorial board. The editorial board members are Christine Broussard, Stephanie Salomone, Sharon Homer-Drummond, and Carlos Goller. To review the initiatives, editors use a rubric developed by Aligning Faculty Incentives with Systemic Change Working Group members to score initiatives on a scale from 0-18. The editors use the rubric to score initiatives in the following areas: assessment of the quality of the intervention, the inclusiveness of the materials, alignment with the audience the intervention is intended for, scalability of the intervention, and alignment with the working group mission. The webpages include a comment from the editorial board about their perspective on the value of the resource and any notes for using or accessing the resource. The resource pages also include information about the nature of the resource, such as the organizational level at which the intervention was instituted, the resource type, the institution type where the resource was instituted, and links to the initiative and any associated publications. Some notable initiatives include the interactive online protocol for peer review of teaching for tenure and promotion processes described in the Peer Review of Teaching Protocol from the University of Arizona and the disciplinarily defined, enacted, and centrally supported campus-wide approach described by the Teaching Quality Framework Initiative from the University of Colorado Boulder, developed as part of the TEval Project.
Ahead, we describe the development of the teaching evaluation initiative repository, editors experience reviewing the materials, and how the repository can be used to support national systemic change efforts.
History and Development
The Aligning Faculty Incentives with Systemic Change Working Group (WG6) was a late addition to the ASCN working groups and arose from grassroots feedback for ASCN presentations at national conferences. The STEM community wanted a link in the hub that connected individuals who were preparing, launching, and/or assessing teaching evaluation change initiatives. The first co-leads of Working Group 6 were Emily Miller of AAU and Christine Broussard of the University of La Verne. Emily had begun collecting descriptions of teaching evaluation initiatives from AAU member institutions willing to share their work with a broader community. Together, the two presented at AAC&U PKAL and Transforming Institutions to recruit others to submit their initiatives for the matrix. And a larger group of resource developers (Gabriela Weaver, Andrea Greenhoot, and Ann Austin) presented with Emily and Christine at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in 2020 to recruit more submissions. Community feedback from those and additional presentations led Working Group 6 to develop the curated repository.
The process adopted by WG6 to curate the repository was two-fold. The first was to develop tags/keywords to categorize the submissions. Some of the tags included the audience, level of intervention, framework/emphasis, institutional type, and others. We sent the tags out to resource developers and community members to ensure that the tags met the needs of the audiences who would use the repository. The development of the tags highlighted the need to set a standard and format for the submitted initiatives. WG6 determined that forming an editorial board would be the most efficient means to set the standards, formats, and ratings for the submissions. We utilized a similar community feedback process to develop the rubric for rating the resources.
We are pleased to make the curated repository available to the STEM education change community now.
Editorial Board Reflection
Each of the editorial board members reflected on the process of creating the repository, and we hope that sharing those reflections in this space will be useful to other groups pursuing similar projects. The four members were volunteers from the ASCN Aligning Faculty Incentives with Systemic Change Working Group. All agree that the process of creating the rubric and evaluating submissions was far more challenging and complex than originally anticipated. We noted the wide array of inspiring and transformative efforts in changing the evaluation of teaching and recognized the scalability and application of these efforts to our own institutional contexts. There is a necessary overlap between the evaluation of teaching and the faculty rewards structures, including tenure and promotion, and this is an area of nuance as we scale efforts. Some of the initiatives submitted presuppose a shared definition of teaching excellence and articulate this definition well. However, others make no mention of such a shared definition, making it challenging to understand how teaching can be effectively evaluated.
The fact that there are so many unique initiatives at so many institutions and institution types signals a clear need for a national conversation about evaluating teaching effectiveness and the creation of context-specific models and rubrics to support this work. At the same time, we noted that many of the initiatives did not explicitly integrate the evaluation of inclusive practices or focus on the educator's DEIJ work in the classroom. This suggests that we need to intentionally shift towards efforts that include this evaluation and to rubrics that do so in a way that supports student learning.
The repository is a living space, and we hope that new initiatives will be submitted, reviewed, and added to the database annually, keeping our community current on best practices and innovations in the field.
Boyer 2030 Commission. (2022). The equity/excellence imperative: A 2030 blueprint for undergraduate education at research universities. University Press of Colorado.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2020). Recognizing and evaluating science teaching in higher education: Proceedings of a workshop in brief. S. J. Debad (Ed): The National Academies Press. http://nap.edu/25685
Simonson, S. R., Frary, M., & Earl, B. (2023). Using a framework to assess teaching effectiveness (FATE) to promote instructor development and growth. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2023(173), 9-22.
Wise, S. B., Ngai, C., Corbo, J. C., Gammon, M. A., Rivard, J. K., & Smith, C. E. (2022). Toward institutionalizing successful innovations in the Academy. To Improve the Academy, 41(1), 151–184.
Christine Broussard, C., Salomone, S., Goller, C., Homer-Drummond, S., & Wright, C.E. (September 15, 2023). Announcing the Curated Teaching Evaluation Change Initiative Repository. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://ascnhighered.org/ASCN/posts/279494.html
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