Evaluating teaching effectiveness and teaching improvement: A language for institutional policies and academic development practices
Demands for institutional accountability in higher education have been increasing and have led to greater attention to the evaluation of teaching, the assumption being that improved teaching will result in enhanced learning. In our work as academic developers, we are increasingly helping academic managers make explicit teaching policies and practices that seem fair and equitable. To help us in this work, we have developed a framework for evaluating the practice of teaching. What is unique about this framework is the language it provides to differentiate aspects of teaching. For instance, it provides a basis for differentiating and linking criteria to standards, i.e. the level of achievement desired or expected. Standards are critical if the evaluation of teaching is to be seen as fair and equitable, yet they are often unexamined in other representations of the evaluation of teaching. Although the original intent of our efforts was to provide a framework for academic managers, we have come to find it useful in our own work as university teachers and as academic developers. Examples of all three uses are provided in the paper.