Affirming Multi-Source, Criteria-Based Teaching Evaluation Framework

Date of Notice:


Bill Harbaugh & Sierra Dawson; CIET Committee


Preamble: This motion codifies the Teaching Evaluation Framework which the CIET committee was charged to bring to the Senate in motion 17/18-19. This conceptional framework codifies a system of teaching evaluation that includes multiple sources of evidence (from students, peers and faculty themselves) to evaluate faculty against consistent standards (professional, inclusive, engaged and research-informed teaching) using the Teaching Evaluation Criteria document, which is modifiable by units.

Section I

1.1 WHEREAS: the Senate has undertaken a multi-year effort to examine and improve UO’s teaching evaluation instruments and practices toward “reducing biases and improving validity, with the goal of improving teaching, learning, and equity” (US16/17-28);

1.2 WHEREAS: this work has been guided by principles that teaching evaluation should be a) fair and transparent, b) conducted against a clear definition of teaching excellence and aligned criteria, and c) informed by data collected from peers, students, and instructors themselves;

1.3 WHEREAS: using transparent, consistent criteria and multiple data sources are evidence-based approaches to reducing the impact of bias in the evaluation of teaching, acknowledging that this is just one part of a larger University effort to combat and reduce bias;

1.4 WHEREAS: using transparent, consistent criteria helps ensure faculty know what they’re being evaluated on and gives them an opportunity to work toward those goals; 

1.5 WHEREAS: professional, inclusive, engaged, and research-informed teaching are broad but meaningful standards now used by the Senate’s Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching Committee, promotion and tenure committees, the Teaching Engagement Program, the Provost’s Teaching Academy, teaching awards committees, and others at UO to describe quality teaching (see attached for Teaching Evaluation Criteria);

1.6 WHEREAS: these standards encompass multiple, discipline-specific pedagogical methods;

1.7 WHEREAS: UO now can consider qualitative data from peers, students, and instructors themselves  aligned to standards rather than numerical rankings that compare faculty to one another through departmental and university averages that may be affected by bias; 

1.8 WHEREAS: Evidence of professional, inclusive, and research-informed teaching are drawn from all parts of a course for which an instructor is responsible (labs, discussions, etc.). The Senate already has taken significant positive action to withdraw old course surveys and introduce new ones in support of a multi-source, criteria based system; United Academics and the Administration have formally agreed to teaching quality standards, which automatically "replace unit-level teaching standards provided for in unit-level rules required by the CBA..."' and the Office of the Provost has developed new data reports, trainings, and guidance to support the implementation of the new sytem;

Section II

2.1 THEREFORE BE IT MOVED: that the University Senate endorses the Teaching Evaluation Framework whereby:

Teaching evaluation is defined as the formal review process (including for promotion and tenure) in which evaluators must use evidence from multiple sources (including peers, students, and instructors themselves) is assessed for against each of the standards of professional, inclusive, engaged and research-informed teaching in order to make judgements of faculty teaching quality.Evidence will be drawn from all parts of a course for which an instructor is responsible (including labs, discussions, etc.)

2.2 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT the University Senate recognizes that the appended Teaching Evaluation Criteria document, as modified by academic units using the procedures below, operationalizes the teaching standards and fulfills the university’s Teaching Evaluation Framework as defined in 2.1.

2.3 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT academic units are the next essential site of implementation of this new teaching evaluation framework. Units are encouraged (but not required) to make the following types of modifications to the Teaching Evaluation Criteria document, which needs to be incorporated into all promotion and tenure practices:

  • language that reflects the unique disciplinary or professional culture of the unit;
  • additions to the standards;
  • greater specificity about what meets, exceeds, or does not meet expectations;
  • qualifying language to account for differences in teaching context (e.g.: large classes; performance courses).
  • other good faith efforts on the part of units to make the process their own, keeping in mind the central university commitment to professional, engaged, and research-informed teaching.

Evaluators will use the Teaching Evaluation Criteria document unless or until their unit has a modified criteria document approved by their dean and the Office of the Provost according to the process defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University of Oregon and United Academics (see Article 4, Section 4; Article 19, Section 2; Article 20, Section 3). Units will work at their own pace to make any desired modifications to the Teaching Evaluation Criteria document.

2.4 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT this Teaching Evaluation Framework is in effect effective immediately, and shall be reviewed biannually by the Senate Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching (CIET) Committee and presented to the Senate as part of an organized process of ongoing implementation, iteration, and improvement. The CIET’s reports will address the effectiveness and potential for bias of the Framework, as well as its financial and time commitment costs.

2.5 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT: The Office of the Provost will provide workshops and trainings to support faculty, personnel committees and unit heads as they undergo this transition in teaching evaluation practices.

*** Motion amended during February 3, 2021 Senate meeting.***

Financial Impact

This legislation involves substantial inputs of faculty and administrative time, but the overall financial impact is indeterminant.

The costs to be considered include software costs, system administrators' time, evaluators' time (unit heads and personnel committees), students' time, and faculty members' time. It is expected that there will be an initial investment of time as these constituencies get used to the new systems involved in the Teaching Evaluation Framework. Software cost for collection of evidence from students and instructors is unchanged due to continued use of CollegeNET software for course surveys.

Motion History

  • Notice Given