Challenges in using data to evaluate faculty

Providers were asked: How well are colleges using data to measure faculty performance, and what related areas need the most improvements?

“Colleges will typically show the faculty how their scores compare to others at the school, usually those in the same department. But they rarely ask the instructors how they plan to improve any low scores they’ve earned or coach them how to do so. Closing this feedback loop will improve the students’ experience.”

—Howard Walters,

Link to main story: Colleges develop faculty evaluation equations

“Unfortunately, administrative definitions of student success predominate. Measures tend to be soft and inferential of student satisfaction at the end of a course. Where are the faculty-derived measures, collected on their terms, to drive decision-making about teaching effectiveness? The best faculty use evidence-based assessments of their practice.”

—Geoff Irvine, CEO, Chalk & Wire

“When measuring faculty performance, we must adhere to a standard of quality teaching while allowing faculty to have autonomy to achieve that standard. This introduces a discrepancy in consistent and measurable outcomes. Thus, alignment between quality standards and teaching approach is critical to achieve a good set of measures for faculty.”

—Tom Tonkin, principal consultant of thought leadership and advisory services, Cornerstone OnDemand

“We used to get yelled out of a room for talking about this. Now institutions are using data to help faculty identify and adopt practices that best utilize their time, and to scale up practices that aid in student engagement and outcomes. In our experience, they aren’t using the data to evaluate faculty themselves.”

—Kenneth Chapman, vice president of Market Research, D2L

“In our experience, faculty performance at most institutions still relies heavily on student impressions, usually gathered in course evaluations. When this student feedback is related more directly to faculty engagement and student outcomes, which can be monitored and gathered throughout the course, the data provides a more detailed picture of faculty performance and provides opportunities for institutions to make incremental positive changes.”

—Courtney Bentley, vice president of services, eThink Education

“Institutions that see the greatest results when working with faculty make it clear that they will not use data punitively. By surfacing insights about performance in a way that includes faculty in conversations about its meaning, institutions can promote trust, increase communication, and foster a culture of continual improvement in support of student success.”

—Timothy Harfield, senior product marketing manager, Blackboard Analytics


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