Evaluation of Faculty Members as Teachers and Educators
Criteria for effective teaching are difficult to define. As a minimum an effective teacher should continue to become more proficient in the subject matter and more efficient in achieving the objective of the courses being taught. An effective teacher should be able, especially, to motivate Students to do their best and to respond favorably to the teacher's enthusiasm for the subject.
The concept of educator implies a broad perspective toward higher education that encompasses more than effective teaching. It involves such things as leadership in developing new educational programs, including postgraduate educational programs, attracting graduate Students, developing new laboratory experiments, etc.
Listed below (with no attempt to suggest any rank order) are some types of evidence that may be used to evaluate the performance of a Faculty member as teacher and educator:
Course and Curriculum Development
- Development of new courses and laboratory experiences or new approaches to teaching.
- Extensive work in curriculum revision or teaching methods for the school or department.
Teaching Skills and Methods
- Relative performances of students in the candidate sections of multi-section courses.
- Participation in programs, conferences, or workshops designed to improve teaching skills.
- Awards or other forms of recognition for outstanding teaching.
- Systematic Student evaluations, such as exit interviews or other standardized questionnaires. Information such as percentage of Students providing data and a copy of evaluation instructions must be provided. (See Student Opinion of Courses and Instructors below).
- Demonstrated ability to teach basic courses effectively at the undergraduate and at the graduate level (when appropriate) where such courses are offered in the disciplines.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in the classroom environment.
Generation of Textbooks, Instruction Materials, and Publications on Teaching
- Publication of books or articles on teaching methods.
- Publication of new instructional techniques or descriptions of laboratory materials (if not listed under Creative Activities).
- Publication of textbooks (if not listed under Creative Activities).
- Effective utilization of audio-visual aids and multi-media where appropriate.
- Expository articles of broad interest exemplifying command of subject, breadth of perspective, etc.
- Supervision of independent study courses, honors theses, graduate theses and dissertations, field trips, internships, and practice.
- Supervision of Students who are working in instructional activities, such as lectures, laboratories, recitations, self-paced instruction, or tutoring.
- Specialized teaching for honors Students or for other types of special programs.
Evaluation of Creative Contributions
While difficult to define precisely, creativity is characterized by the making of original and innovative contributions. The nature of the creative work must be appropriate to the individual's discipline. Moreover, it must be shown that significant creative activity has been performed while at Georgia Tech. To provide objective evaluation of creative activities, external peer review normally is required. The review should be based only on the individual's work and should not include opinions regarding promotion or tenure. A brief description of the reviewer, including positions and title, should be included. In general, the quality of such activities is of more importance than the sheer quantity. In cases where the creative work is a joint effort with others, there must be clear evidence that the individual under consideration has taken a leading role in conducting the work.
The creative work may be in a variety of forms. The nature of the material offered and the relative weight assigned to the various types of activity will vary among disciplines. Some examples of creative activities that may be appropriate at this institution are as follows:
- Research papers in scholarly journals, literary publications, and books.
Unpublished Writings and Creative Work of Limited Circulation
- Technical reports, engineering and architectural designs, and grant applications
- Inventions leading to patents
- Presentations at conferences and meetings.
Creative Educational Contributions
- Innovative teaching methods, research in instructional techniques, and textbooks.
- Paintings, sculpture, and music.
External Recognition of Creative Work
- Prizes and awards, invited presentations, and consultancies.
- For promotion to the rank of Associate Professor there should be clear evidence that the person has demonstrated an ability to make original and innovative contributions to a chosen field.
- For promotion to Professor there should be clear evidence that the person has demonstrated consistent performance in the making of original and innovative contributions that are nationally recognized for their excellence.
At all levels, the candidate’s creative accomplishments throughout his/her entire career should be considered and special attention given to those that occurred at Georgia Tech.
Evaluation of Service Activities
While Faculty members usually contribute to the Institute primarily through teaching and creative activities, they also may contribute significantly to the development of Georgia Tech through rendering appropriate types of service to the Institute, to the public, and to the professional organizations to which they belong.
There is a rapidly escalating need for postgraduate professional education opportunities for persons to deepen, broaden, and raise the level of their knowledge and understanding, both in their professional field and in general. For this reason, Faculty participation in professional education activities constitutes a service to the public, to professional fields which seek to serve that public, and to the Institute.
Service to Students
Service to Students includes such activities as: advising, career counseling, presentation of lectures on special topics, participation in panel or group discussions, directing field trips, serving as faculty moderator of a student activity, and engaging in appropriate extra-academic activities with Students.
Documentation should include a statement from the Unit Head relative to the academic load of the Faculty member, participation in pre-registration and registration duties, as well as comments on the quality of those activities stated above.
Service to the Academic Community
Presenting lectures, participating in seminars, developing research proposals with other faculty members, serving on committees, study groups and task forces, and lending one's professional expertise to other faculty members for their benefit. The quality of the member's participation in such activities should be documented.
Service to the Institute
Significant service to the offices of the Institute, such as Institute Relations and Development, the Alumni Association, the Athletic Board, Education Extension teaching, special student services, recruitment and similar activities; and serving on various Institute committees. Documentation of these activities should include statements regarding the frequency of meetings, records of attendance, offices held, contributions to special reports, etc.
Availability for Service Activities
Maintaining regular office hours and expressing willingness to serve whenever opportunities are available. Documentation should include a statement from the Unit Head.
Service to the Profession
Membership in professional organizations; attendance at professional meetings and conferences, organizing professional meetings, serving as a discussant of papers read by others at professional meetings or being a panel member at such meetings, holding office in professional organizations; contributing consultative, advisory, editorial service in a professional capacity, and serving as site visitor for accreditation review. Documentation should include appropriate records, awards, or other forms of recognition.
Service to the Community
Community Service involves a wide range of activities directed toward local, state or national groups. Examples of such service include:
- Panel discussions;
- Radio and television appearances;
- Membership on advisory boards or civic committees;
- Involvement in community, charitable organizations, or the government;
- Involvement in youth and citizen recreation programs; and
- Advising students or judging the entries at science fairs.
Appropriate documentation of service activities should be included. For persons being considered for promotion to Associate Professor, the rendering of service in any of these categories is appropriate. For persons being considered for promotion to the rank of Professor, participation in service activities is required, and some form of leadership activity is expected.
Student Opinion of Courses and Instructors
To provide instructors with information about Student opinions of their teaching and courses, the Institute has developed the Course/Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS). Provision is also made for written comments from the students.
The surveys are conducted on-line and instructors may access the results for their courses on-line.
Unit Heads receive the responses to the Institute core items, and any optional questions from the respective units; however, they receive neither the responses to any additional optional items the instructors may have elected to include, nor the written comments. Students have access to the responses to the core Institute questions if the response rate is over a threshold requirement.
The results of the CIOS serve as one (1) component of an overall assessment system for documenting teaching proficiency. The survey, processed by the Center for Teaching and Learning under the auspices of the Provost, is administered in each School or College on a systematic basis during fall and spring semester each year. In addition, the survey system is available during summer semester.