Changes have been made to the Faculty Handbook to accommodate safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the original Handbook language on Teaching Criteria (Section II.C.2.b)

i. Criteria. 

Evaluation of teaching effectiveness includes an assessment by oneself and by one’s peers, and the evaluations by students. In no case will evaluation of teaching be based solely on course response forms. Teaching should be taken in its broad sense, to include not only formal classroom work, but also the candidate’s contributions to the curriculum, advising, and other teaching outside the classroom. Nonetheless, evaluation will always include observation of classroom teaching (see Classroom Visits).

Criteria considered for evaluation of teaching will include:

(a) overall quality of the learning experience provided to students;

(b) effectiveness in promoting student thinking and learning;

(c) quality of classroom instruction;

(d) organization of courses;

(e) availability and helpfulness to students;

(f) care in evaluating student work;

(g) ability to teach a broad range of students; and

(h) teaching outside the classroom.

ii. Course Response Forms. 

Faculty members will receive a PDF of their course response forms via email following the end of the term and after all grades have been submitted. Faculty member’s course response forms are stored electronically on a secure server with the Office of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, where they may be consulted only by the president, the provost, the vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty, the department chair, and the Reappointments Committee or Promotions Committee. Program directors will have access to all course response forms for courses taught with an explicit program label, either as a standalone or cross-listed course. 

A faculty member may request the addition of personal comments or other materials with the course response forms which they believe may be useful in the interpretation of the forms. Faculty members must share their personal copies of course response forms with colleagues writing on their behalf. The VPAA/DoF cannot grant access to electronic files to anyone other than those listed above. All course response forms are kept until the faculty member is reviewed for tenure. After the tenure review, CRFs five years and older will be deleted. 

Faculty who have completed the equivalent of two years of full-time teaching may designate one course every two years as “CRF-optional”. In these cases, those forms are held separately and not uploaded to the server. The faculty member may then decide whether to include the forms in their file held by the administration.

iii. Classroom Visits. 

In the semester preceding the term in which the review takes place, the candidate should arrange with the department chair an appropriate schedule of class visits over the two terms. The chair (or a senior member of the department designated by the chair and acceptable to the candidate) will visit at least two classes. Other colleagues may visit classes if the candidate invites them. It is the responsibility of the chair to ensure that the visits are not unnecessarily disruptive. Following classroom visits, and before the end of the term during which the visits take place, if the candidate wishes it, each visiting colleague will meet with the individual being evaluated to discuss their performance in the classes visited and to make suggestions for possible improvement. Members of the Reappointments Committee or Promotions Committee, however, will not normally offer such commentaries. In all cases, which classes will be visited will be agreed on in advance by the candidate and the visitors.

What is new in Fall 2020

During Fall 2020 when faculty are likely to teach in multiple modalities, colleagues and members of COR will adopt a more expansive understanding of the term classroom visits. We know that in the majority of cases the classroom will be a virtual space, either a zoom room, a section of canvas, or some other technological space (slack, loom, google chat, etc.). The candidate will choose the parameters of the classroom colleagues and the COR will observe. This could be limited to a canvas discussion forum, access to a zoom session but not breakout rooms or some other variation. As you delineate what your colleagues can observe, please be mindful of the eight criteria our handbook designates as criteria for evaluating teaching. For instance, breakout rooms may help colleagues assess “effectiveness in promoting student thinking and learning.”  

Similarly, we know that visit can no longer be defined by temporal parameters. If you are teaching synchronously, you may consider inviting COR members to a Zoom session. If you are teaching asynchronously, you should signal clearly to COR members which section/module of canvas they are welcomed to observe. Once you give colleagues access to your canvas site, they have access to all sections of your course. We recommend that, much as you would do with an in-person class visit, you should identify very clearly which module or session COR members are being asked to observe. You could direct COR members to a discussion forum or a chat or a group assignment. In short, you decide what element of Canvas you want to curate for the COR. 

If you are teaching in person, given the space constraints and health regulations, it may be very difficult to observe you in situ. If an in-person observation is impossible due to space constraints or a colleague’s decision not to be on campus, you will need to consider alternative modes of observation. You may consider making available to COR members “asynchronous” materials which could serve as evidence of “the overall quality of the learning experience” you provide. These asynchronous materials may include assignments and the rubrics you use, any materials you use within the confines of the classroom to “promote student thinking and learning”, the exercises you develop, and so on. If you conduct discussion online discussion sessions, inviting COR members to these would be an effective substitute for class visits.

CRFs: 

You have the option to include CRFs from your courses in Spring 2020. As a result of the transition to remote instruction, the College decided to send the CRFs only to faculty. If you decide to include CRFs from your spring semester in your review, please send them to ovpaa@middlebury.edu.