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Documenting Teaching Effectiveness Strategies Memo – Fall 2020

SUBJECT Moving Beyond Student Evaluations of Teaching: Documenting Teaching Activities to Demonstrate Teaching Effectiveness
FROM OHIO Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Committee (TLA)
AUTHOR(S) Documenting Teaching Effectiveness Subcommittee: Kamile Geist (Chair), Deborah Marinski, Mary Wurm-Schaar, Sarah Poggione, Scott Titsworth, and Katie Hartman
DATE July 27, 2020

For the past several years, Ohio University administrators and faculty have been reviewing policies and procedures on how they can improve and enhance how to reliably document the wonderful teaching strategies of our faculty. The TLA committee recognizes that student evaluations are a common source, sometimes the only source of data, used by departments to evaluate faculty effectiveness of teaching. However, the research does indicate that this method is not always a reliable source and therefore other activities should be equally or more so considered and documented when evaluating teaching effectiveness.

Amidst the quick move to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the realization by the University that student evaluations may not reliably represent the complete picture of faculty teaching effectiveness, administration and faculty approved policy change that student evaluations, while still collected, not be a required portion of formally evaluating faculty teaching for the Fall 2020 semester.  
Therefore, in recognition of the wealth of faculty teaching innovation and also in an effort to promote a time of celebration of all the hard work and sacrifices the faculty have made, the TLA committee is providing a quick guide and resource for faculty to use when they document their teaching effectiveness.

This resource list was created for faculty to use when they document all the other teaching effectiveness activities for their annual Faculty Annual Reports. The committee hopes that as faculty move down this list, they will recognize all the hard work they have done to move their classes to an online environment and celebrate their accomplishments!
The suggested activities were compiled from various peer-reviewed sources and in consultation with various faculty groups on the Ohio University campus.  It is not an exhaustive list but meant as a general guide to other teaching activities that can be used as sources to document teaching effectiveness.

Although the TLA committee believes this list will be helpful as faculty reflect on teaching transformation during the online delivery semesters, we also urge faculty and administrators to embrace the activities listed as kinds of evidence that may demonstrate effective teaching and could be incorporated into future teaching evaluations.

Activities Related to Moving to Online Instruction

  • Adapting curriculum for online delivery
  • Converting lectures and other content delivery and assignments for online delivery
  • Developing alternate instructional delivery options for labs and other experiential activities
  • Modifying assessments for online implementation
  • Meeting with students during virtual office hours
  • Learning alternate ways to deliver curriculum through video sharing and conferencing
  • Changing teaching based on feedback and reflection 
  • Creating an online teaching portfolio 
  • Participating in virtual workshops for how to use online teaching platforms and tools (e.g. Teams, Blackboard, Panopto, etc.)
  • Creating virtual assessments
  • Supporting students during the transition to online learning
  • Directing students to online university resources

Activities Related to the Practice of Teaching

  • Designing curriculum, courses, modules, and/or lessons
  • Creating syllabi meeting department, school, college, and/or university standards for compliance, content, and rigor (refer to section IV.A.3 of the Faculty Handbook)
  • Creating and using new student engagement activities (e.g., project, assignments, role-plays, etc.)
  • Creating and using new assessments (e.g., exams, rubrics, performance evaluations, etc.)
  • Revising or improving curriculum, courses, modules, and/or lessons based on feedback and/or reflection
  • Demonstrating improvements in the quality of instruction
  • Writing a self-evaluation / reflection about teaching
  • Creating a teaching philosophy or portfolio
  • Developing and using innovative classroom assessment techniques
  • Using evidence-based teaching practices
  • Serving effectively as an advisor for undergraduate theses, graduate theses, and/or dissertations 

Activities Related to Sharing Teaching & Learning Practices

  • Mentoring or collaborating with peers
  • Participating as a subject or reviewer in a peer evaluation
  • Teaching and/or learning theory-driven teaching practices 
  • Sharing classroom action research and projects with others
  • Writing/Publishing peer-reviewed empirical research on teaching* 
  • Writing/Publishing case studies related to teaching*
  • Writing/Publishing chapters or text related to teaching*
  • Writing/Publishing essays about teaching*
  • Sharing teaching portfolio 
  • Presenting or publishing about teaching strategies* 
  • Sharing about community education 
  • Writing an online blog about teaching
  • Participating and sharing knowledge as a peer reviewer of teaching
  • Attending a teaching conference
  • Earning teaching awards from department, college, university, or external organizations

Suggested Teaching Effectiveness Assessment Outcomes

  • Student access and use of blackboard
  • Course retention rates and grades
  • Student achievement of learning outcomes
  • Experiential learning experiences
  • Peer review evaluation summary data
  • Creative documentation strategies such a screen captures, videos of lectures and saved classroom chats

*Note: In many schools/departments, these activities count as research/scholarship/creative activity as well as documenting teaching effectiveness.