Resolution on Core Items for a University-Wide Assessment of Student Opinions on Teaching Effectiveness

Resolution Number: RF00-174
September, 2000

Resolution on Core Items for a University-Wide Assessment of Student Opinions on Teaching Effectiveness

RF00-174

At its meeting of November 7, 2000, the Academic Senate unanimously approved the following resolution on core items for a university-wide assessment of student opinions on teaching effectiveness:

Resolved

that the Academic Senate express its appreciation of efforts made by the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment to improve the process of gathering information concerning student opinions of teaching effectiveness; and

be it further resolved

that the Senate commends in particular those efforts made to reduce confusion caused by inconsistencies in the format of rating scales found in the various feedback forms in use; and

be it further resolved

that any implementation of a campus-wide program be preceded by a systematic evaluation of the construct validity, the content validity and the reliability of these (and/or revised) items; and

be it further resolved

that this period of testing include a systematic and widespread gathering of appropriate feedback from faculty and students concerning the content and form of proposed core items, and

be it further resolved

that there be at least one full calendar year of testing and analysis of feedback from faculty and students; and

be it further resolved

that the final set of items submitted to the Senate should have demonstrated construct and content validity, and reliability; and

be it further resolved

that responsibility for the development and approval of any policy for implementation of a campus-wide teaching effectiveness feedback form remains with the Academic Senate; and

be it further resolved

that such a policy be developed at the conclusion of the testing period by the Academic Policies Committee and the Faculty Affairs Committee, in consultation with the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment, and submitted to the Senate for approval; and

be it further resolved

that such a policy and any data gathered in the process of testing and evaluation shall not be used in a manner contrary to existing Senate policies referring to teaching evaluations; and

be it further resolved

that experimental forms be clearly marked as such; that no data gathered by means of such forms shall be used in personnel decisions or in the awarding of FMIs, without the written consent of the involved faculty member; and that existing evaluation procedures at college and departmental levels be retained until such time as a core set of items for campus-wide use has been approved by the Academic Senate.

Rationale

The Academic Senate has directed the Faculty Affairs Committee to draft an action item reflecting the position of the Senate concerning a proposed common core of items for an instrument to gather student perceptions of teaching effectiveness. While working to fulfill this charge, the FAC met with Provost LaBelle and Dr. Marilyn Verhey, Interim Coordinator of the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment. FAC also reviewed relevant portions of the June 1994 report of the Academic Senate's Task Force on Teaching Effectiveness, and received feedback from faculty, including the Task Force chair, Professor Carolyn Chaney. Following these conversations, the Provost submitted a revised Teaching Effectiveness Student Feedback Form (dated 10/25/00) which draws on the 1994 Task Force report and on feedback from its chair.

The core items originally submitted to the Senate reflect the common content of items found on instruments developed at the college level. At the same time, it is not clear that there was extensive individual faculty input in every college when this set of items was developed.

This resolution is intended to recognize the work done thus far and to call for careful further testing of the items (and/or revised items), including the gathering of appropriate feedback from faculty and students.

In addition, the resolution reflects concern to ensure only fair and appropriate use, in university decision-making processes, of data gathered during a period of testing.