Date of Notice: May 17, 2017
Current Status: Approved May 24, 2017
Motion Type: Legislation
Sponsor: Sierra Dawson (Human Physiology) and Bill Harbaugh (Senate & Economics)
Whereas: While student evaluations of teaching can be an important tool for evaluating and improving teaching and learning, there is substantial peer-reviewed evidence from other colleges and universities that student course evaluations of the sort used at UO are biased with respect to gender and race and that the numerical scores are poorly correlated with teaching effectiveness and learning outcomes.
There is also scholarly evidence that peer (faculty) reviews of teaching may be ineffective at evaluating teaching effectiveness and giving useful feedback for improvement.
The Senate seeks to increase the validity and effectiveness of both student course evaluations and peer reviews, for the purposes of evaluation and improvement of UO’s teaching.
Therefore: The UO Senate seeks to improve UO’s methods of course evaluation and teaching reviews by moving that:
The Senate creates a Teaching Evaluation Task Force, with membership and duration to be determined by the Committee on Committees, to include stakeholders from the faculty and administration, with the charge of evaluating and improving course evaluations and peer (faculty) reviews with respect to reducing biases and improving validity, with the goal of improving teaching, learning, and equity.
The Senate authorizes the Teaching Evaluation Task Force to work with the Teaching Engagement Program to exempt a limited number of courses per quarter from the regular student course evaluation process for faculty participating in their programs, so long as reasonable alternative procedures for student input are in place and the results are communicated to the Task Force.
The Teaching Evaluation Task Force is authorized to conduct temporary experiments with student course evaluations and peer reviews to begin as soon as Summer 2017. These experiments may include changes in the questions, format, timing, software, and incentives for participation of students. The Task Force will aim to report to the Senate on possible improvements to student course evaluations and peer evaluations by Fall 2018. The report will include analysis of gender and race bias in the traditional and experimental evaluations. All courses in these experiments will return to the current default course evaluation process by Fall 2018, unless the Senate acts otherwise to change that process. Stakeholders will be consulted before any experiments and before the Task Force’s report.
The Teaching Evaluation Task Force will address the issues of academic misconduct and student evaluations raised by motion https://senate.uoregon.edu/2017/02/15/us1617-15-student-misconduct-and-teaching-evaluations-policy-propos in its reports and proposals to the Senate.