Faculty SenateSoutheast Missouri State University
Approved December 2, 2009
Faculty Senate Bill 09-A-06
Be It Resolved That: the current section of the Faculty Handbook entitled, "Student Evaluation of Instruction," be deleted and be replaced with the following:
Student Evaluation of Instruction
(Faculty Senate Bill 09-A-06 begins here.)
Student evaluation of instruction at Southeast Missouri State University shall be conducted for four distinct purposes:
1.to enable individual faculty members to continually improve the quality of their classroom instruction,
2.to provide individual faculty members with a measure of perceived effectiveness of instruction,
3.to enable students to provide input concerning the quality and content of classroom instruction,
4.to acquire institution-wide measures which may be used to compare and contrast Southeast with other universities.
In addition, individual faculty members may choose to use information from student evaluation of instruction as one piece of evidence for demonstrating their teaching effectiveness. Student evaluation of instruction, however, should not provide the only evidence. The IDEA Center recommends that student evaluation results be used as no more than 25-35% of evaluation of instructor teaching effectiveness, and that emphasis be placed on other evidence, regardless of whether student evaluation information is used.
This policy describes methods of using student evaluation information for the purposes mentioned above.
Student Evaluation for Improvement of Classroom Instruction and Content
In recognition of the strong teaching mission of Southeast Missouri State University, formal faculty evaluation processes and incentives shall be implemented and maintained to encourage continuing improvement in instruction and a commitment to quality instruction by all faculty. Procedures and processes should not only include rigorous peer review and self-evaluation of instructional effectiveness but also systematic, credible student evaluation of instruction.
All faculty members shall be evaluated by systematic, anonymous student evaluations in all sections of each course taught. Those faculty members teaching the same students in an integrated framework of interconnected courses, such as the College of Education's Block program, may have the option to administer just one evaluation per set of courses.
The course/instructor evaluation instrument(s) used within a department during the semesters when a nationally-normed, university-wide evaluation instrument is not utilized must be approved by a 2/3 vote of the faculty of that department. The instrument(s) should recognize the diversity of subject matter, instructional styles, and student groups across and within disciplines. Faculty members may add additional questions to the instrument(s) to ensure that all appropriate data needed for instructional improvement are provided.
The student evaluation is to be administered by the departmental chair or designate. Appropriate procedures will be developed by the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning and/or department chairs to require timely administration and processing of the evaluations and to ensure the integrity of the entire student evaluation process. Instructions for completing the instrument and adequate time for the completion in class will be provided. Students will be informed (a) that the data and written comments on the evaluation form are confidential, (b) that the data will be an important part of the information considered in improving instruction at Southeast Missouri State, and (c) that instructors will not have access to the data until final grades have been processed. Faculty members will not be present during the evaluation process and the results will not be available until after final grades have been processed.
The Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning will assist in the processing of the evaluations. The results will be returned to faculty members, department chair, and others as designated by the faculty members for use in improving teaching. The Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning will receive a copy of the results from the nationally-normed instrument and may receive a copy of the department assessment if faculty members so desire. Evaluation results for department chairs will be distributed to deans and a faculty member designated by each department. Confidentiality among these individuals must be maintained. Any other use of the results requires the approval of faculty members, except in cases where the aggregate data are used for specific institutional reporting purposes.
As part of its commitment to improving and assuring quality instruction, the University shall provide professional development resources and assistance. The Director of the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning will be responsible for coordinating effective mentoring systems, seminars, workshops, instructional materials, and other professional development activities and for ensuring that faculty development is suggested and professional development resources provided to support improvement of instructional quality.
In summary, student evaluation of instruction may be viewed as part of a continuous, formative process of assessment used to measure the effectiveness of classroom instruction by faculty members. This process should culminate in an overall view of the instructional and content effectiveness of the courses being examined.
Student Evaluation for Comparing and Contrasting Southeast with Other Universities
A nationally normed student rating instrument will be selected by a method recommended by the Faculty Senate and will be designated for this institution-wide purpose. This student rating instrument will be administered campus-wide, once every other year, in every section of every class taught that semester, except where the use of the instrument is deemed invalid by the developer or where an integrated set of courses may best be evaluated by a single administration of the evaluation instrument. The costs of administration of this form shall be borne by the Office of the Provost. The data collected from this administration will be used to compare and contrast Southeast to other universities. The nationally normed instrument will be administered campus-wide during specified semesters as described above. Separate departmental evaluation instruments, if approved by the department as previously described, may be administered during these same semesters if so desired by the department and/or the individual faculty member.
Appropriate Use of Student Evaluation of Instruction Information in Personnel Decisions
Faculty members may voluntarily choose to report results from the nationally normed instrument and/or the specific department assessment form(s) for evidence of teaching effectiveness in personnel decisions (such as promotion, tenure, merit pay, termination, etc.). Faculty members may not be compelled to submit student evaluation results for these purposes (see "Prohibited Use" below). Instead, however, faculty members can choose to describe their responses to the results. They may describe what content or teaching techniques they think contribute to their success or describe changes in content or teaching techniques they have made or will make, or innovations they have made or planned that might enhance teaching effectiveness. They may describe how more recent results reflect a previous change in teaching activities. They can reflect on what the results reveal or confirm. They may explain the assistance they sought from their colleagues, the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, and/or professional organizations. The narrative thus developed would be reflective and explain how faculty members used the results of student evaluation of instruction to improve teaching.
Narratives would be included in faculty members' record of service as evidence of the implementation and response to student evaluation of instruction. Reporting response to student evaluations rather than the actual summary numbers is more consistent with the formative intent of student evaluations at the individual faculty member level. It would allow faculty to avoid focusing on maximizing numbers, but rather concentrate on explaining their response to the numbers.
When developing recommendations or making decisions on faculty teaching effectiveness, committees and individuals must take into account other activities presented by the faculty member consistent with accomplishment in teaching effectiveness, including but not limited to:
course improvement activities,
curriculum improvement activities
team teaching activities,
faculty self-evaluation statement concerning philosophy and teaching techniques,
pre-test/post-test measures designed to assess gains in student knowledge,
other "value added" outcomes measures,
documented informal or formal mid-semester student evaluations of instruction accompanied by reflections thereon, or
other measures of effectiveness prescribed by departmentally-approved criteria, etc.
Faculty members may voluntarily choose to report the numerical summary results of student evaluation of instruction with or without a narrative such as that described above. It is, however, improper for individuals or committees to draw inferences about the presence or absence of such data, as explained below. Such individuals or committees should also be aware that, because of the necessity of a transition period to this policy from the preceding one, faculty members could be submitting mixed evidence of teaching effectiveness for a period of several years. This is acceptable, and no adverse inferences may be drawn in such cases.
Prohibited Use of Student Evaluation of Instruction Data in Personnel Decisions
Because standardized rating instruments and department assessments may not adequately capture the nuances and variations across disciplines or between types of courses within a discipline, the use of the results from these evaluations may not be compelled in any kind of personnel decision (such as promotion, tenure, merit pay, termination, etc.) and may only be used if the individual faculty member wishes them to be so used. Individuals and bodies involved in such personnel decisions are expressly directed not to draw any inferences whatsoever about the absence of these results from any faculty member's dossier. Demonstrating teaching effectiveness, however, is the responsibility of faculty members and may be achieved in a variety of ways, such as those listed in the preceding section. It is important to reiterate that student evaluation of instruction is just a part of the total assessment of the teaching effectiveness. Ratings and written comments from students should be viewed as on-going components of the overall process of professional growth and teaching improvement. Relying solely on student evaluations to assess the effectiveness of teaching and learning is inappropriate.
This policy on student evaluation of instruction will be evaluated by the Faculty Senate every three years, beginning with the 2003-04 academic year. Reports on these periodic reviews of the policy shall be made available through the Faculty Senate web site.
Approved by Faculty Senate 3-24-99
Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 98-A-05
Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 99-A-03
Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 09-A-06