Evaluating Teaching

At FIU, we recognize the centrality of teaching in student learning and success, as well as the importance of developing effective and comprehensive systems for evaluating and rewarding teaching. As a result, in 2017, the Office of the Provost launched the Evaluating and Rewarding Teaching (ET) project—a university-wide initiative aimed at refining guidelines for evaluating and rewarding excellence in teaching at FIU. 

The work conducted for the ET project has focused on two elements:

  • Emphasizing faculty growth towards FIUs vision for excellent teaching—which we characterize as learning-centered, evidence-based, and inclusive
  • Encouraging the use of multiple sources of evidence (i.e., students, peers, and self) for evaluating faculty teaching at FIU

FIUs Vision for Teaching Excellence 

At FIU, high-quality teaching is an expected standard. Consistent with this standard, we developed our ‘macro’ vision for excellent teaching—characterized by three pillars of teaching excellence: 

  • Learning‐centeredness—a focus on optimizing student learning, growth, and development
  • Evidence‐based practice—instructional practices informed by existing educational research, and/or both quantitative and qualitative evidence collected while teaching
  • Inclusivity in teaching—pedagogical approach that celebrates diversity in the classroom and relies on instructional practices that aim to engage, motivate, and elevate the learning experience of all students 

 Why multiple sources of evidence? 

There is a general consensus in the literature on the evaluation of teaching, that considering multiple sources of evidence can enhance the evaluation process and result in more reliable and accurate assessments of teaching effectiveness. At FIU, we see several added benefits to considering multiple forms of evidence, including: 

  • Providing faculty with an opportunity to be recognized for certain efforts in their teaching that might not otherwise be considered 
  • Each additional source of evidence helps compensate for weaknesses in another
  • Faculty will be better prepared to demonstrate their excellence in teaching

Project Achievements & Ongoing Work

Since the project’s launch in 2017, much has been accomplished.

As of Spring 2021, the ET Leadership Team has:

  • Assisted faculty representatives from over 50 departments in tailoring the vision for excellent teaching to their department/discipline, and drafting teaching evaluation guidelines and rubrics 
  • Worked with departmental administrators to provide support for this work and guidance on how they can support their faculty throughout this process
  • Completed a re-design of FIUs Student Perceptions of Teaching survey (i.e., course evaluation survey) and administration process that will launch in Fall 2021

Moving forward, as academic units across the university begin to implement their new evaluating teaching guidelines, the project’s leadership team has implemented several programming offerings to serve as support for administrators and faculty as they continue to engage in departmental evaluating teaching practices. 

Some of these support offerings, include:

  • Open Labs for questions/help regarding collecting evidence from students, peers, and self, how to report evidence collected, and all other questions related to the evaluation of teaching
  • Teaching workshops focused on engaging in learning-centered, inclusive, and evidence-based teaching practices, as well as how to yield and report evidence from these practices for teaching evaluations 

Click here for additional information and resources on the evaluation of teaching at FIU.