Appendix C: Conditions and Procedures for Collecting, Processing, and Using the Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire

The “Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire” (IEQ) is a standard College instrument designed to provide student feedback to instructors and to those responsible for faculty and departmental performance review and personnel decisions. Student responses to the IEQ are one among several sources of information used by the Faculty Status Council (FSC), Department Chairs, Division Chairs, and academic administrators in their effort to assess and improve teaching quality.

General Principles

The constructive use of IEQ information depends upon some fundamental principles:

  • The goal of collecting and reviewing IEQs is to support good teaching throughout a faculty member’s career at Berea College.
  • IEQs provide information as quantifiable data and student comments: both are valid and reliable indicators of student perceptions of teaching effectiveness.
  • IEQ information is relevant and useful, but neither paramount nor conclusive for assessing teaching quality or improvement. It should therefore be used only as one of several diverse sources of information about teaching quality.
  • The most effective use of IEQ information as an aid for teaching improvement is usually by those closest to the particular context, discipline, courses, and lives of teaching faculty.
  • IEQs are appropriately used by faculty and administrators to inform conversations about teaching effectiveness.
  • IEQ data are inappropriately used when relatively small statistical variations are relied upon, whether the data pertains to an individual or is presented in aggregate form.
  • A system of appropriate use operates effectively only if there are trained users of the information, resources for support and development of faculty teaching, appropriate and timely follow up.
  • Further, a system of appropriate use requires mechanisms for auditing uses of information by all parties—Department Chair, Division Chair, or Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty. They are responsible for maintaining a record of their reading, review, and response to individual IEQ results, whether the access is by consent of the individual faculty member, in the course of a regular performance review, through the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, or in response to a report of problems or deficiencies.
  • The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, Department Chair, and Division Chair have different responsibilities and, thus, appropriate use of IEQ information varies with position. For example, the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty is responsible for departments, a Department Chair or Division Chair for evaluation of individual faculty members.
  • This system of appropriate use of IEQ information for all faculty is in keeping with the SACS requirement that “the institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status.”

The faculty approved an electronic processing system for IEQs on April 24, 2008. The following section on procedures has been amended to reflect this change.

  1. Procedure

    1. Anonymous student responses to the IEQ will be systematically collected for all faculty for most courses, with a few exceptions.

    2. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the permanent college records of the IEQs.

    3. Students will be sent an electronic link to their IEQs. Faculty members are encouraged to monitor response rates and to encourage students to complete the IEQs.

    4. After grades have been submitted, the electronic reports will be available to faculty and other appropriate personnel.

  2. Access

    Appropriate access to IEQ information varies according to (1) the status of the evaluated faculty member, (2) the roles of the recipient of the information, and (3) the context of IEQ use.

    1. All faculty are given access to summary reports for all their classes. Faculty may circulate their personal copies of these summaries to anyone.

    2. All Division Chairs have access to summary reports for each class taught by any member of their division and for each class taught under their departments’ rubrics. Division chairs may additionally access aggregate reports of the above information.

    3. All Department Chairs have access to summary reports for each class taught under their department’s rubric and for each class taught by any faculty member appointed to the department. Department Chairs may additionally access aggregate reports of the above information.

    4. The Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning has access to summary reports for all faculty without divisional assignments, as well as all GST/GSTR courses.

    5. The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty has access to all summary IEQ reports.

    6. The Faculty Status Council is sent summary reports for individual faculty undergoing probationary, tenure or promotion review.

  3. Appropriate Use

    In all the uses described below, it must be assumed that IEQs are always to be interpreted, within the relevant context, as one of a number of diverse sources of information. For any designated use, IEQ information by itself is neither probative, paramount, conclusive, nor sufficient.

    1. Individual Faculty Members

      By virtue of their commitment to teaching excellence, all faculty members have a responsibility to themselves and to the institution to review their own IEQs regularly and carefully, in order to pursue improvement in teaching.

      As members of an academic community, all faculty members have a responsibility to all other faculty, to students, and to academic administrators (Department Chairs, Division Chairs, Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning, and the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty) to assist and support improved teaching by all. Such a responsibility includes, among other things, collaboratively reviewing a colleague’s IEQs when asked and seeking colleagues’ assistance and advice in reviewing one’s own IEQ information.

    2. Division Chairs and Department Chairs

      All Department Chairs are responsible for regularly evaluating each faculty member who contributes to the department. Each Division Chair is responsible for regularly evaluating each member of the division. In both cases the process should include creating a record of the reading of and response to each faculty member’s IEQs.

      The Division Chair or Department Chair should use an individual’s IEQ information collaboratively with the faculty member concerned—as a topic for discussion, as confirmation of other information, and as evidence for or against teaching effectiveness; the Division Chair or Department Chair and faculty member should use IEQ information to formulate questions and devise joint plans for improvement in the instructor’s teaching, and they should monitor IEQs as one source among several of information about subsequent progress.

      A Division Chair may appropriately use individual or aggregate IEQ information, as one of a number of diverse sources of information, in conversation with the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty or other academic administrators about teaching effectiveness, and may review collaboratively with the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty or other academic administrators summary reports for individual faculty teaching in the division.

      If reports of teaching problems or deficiencies come to the Division Chair’s or Department Chair’s attention, the Division Chair and Department Chair should consult IEQs and other information. The Department Chair and Division Chair are then responsible, as appropriate, to counsel the individual faculty member, to develop collaboratively a reasonable plan for improvement and future review of the faculty member’s progress, to inform the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of the situation and plans, and to maintain records of the process and progress.

      IEQs for cross-listed courses go to Department Chairs of the departments and to the chairs of the division. If faculty in one department or division teach a course in another, both relevant Department Chairs and Division Chairs use the IEQs, though the performance review responsibilities are those of the Department Chair and Division Chair in which the faculty member has an appointment.

    3. Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning, and others

      The Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning is responsible for reviewing IEQ reports for faculty not appointed to a division, as well as for all GST/GSTR courses. Appropriate written records of access, use and response to summary reports must be maintained, and must be made available to relevant faculty upon request.

    4. The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty

      The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty has administrative responsibility for the instruction of the student body; for all matters pertaining to the effectiveness and well-being of the faculty; and for the maintenance and review of the curriculum. The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty appropriately uses aggregate IEQ information about teaching effectiveness in interactions with various administrative offices, academic services and other departments of the College and in order to represent the collective interests of the faculty, as is part of the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty’s responsibility.

      The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty also appropriately uses the IEQs of each Division Chair in ways paralleling the Department Chair’s and Division Chair’s use of faculty colleagues’ IEQ information, i.e. in a collaborative effort—as a topic for discussion, as confirmation of other information, as evidence for or against teaching effectiveness, to formulate questions and make joint plans for improvement in teaching, and to guide subsequent discussion about progress.

      The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty may appropriately review collaboratively with a Division Chair summary reports for individual faculty teaching in the division.

      The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty is responsible for educational departments, support services, and faculty’s professional development. The Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty appropriately uses aggregate IEQ information to evaluate teaching, support services, and departments, so long as the information is considered as one of a number of diverse sources of information.

      Appropriate written records of access, use and response to summary reports must be maintained, and must be made available to relevant faculty upon request.

    5. Faculty Status Council (FSC)

      The FSC is collectively responsible for evaluating faculty members subject to probationary, tenure, and promotion reviews. Summary analyses of the IEQs from the OIRA form a mandatory component of the file presented by and for each candidate for such reviews.

      The FSC appropriately uses an individual faculty member’s IEQ information as one of several diverse sources of information. For the various types of review, the other components of the candidate’s file are as described in the Faculty Manual. (IEQ summary analyses inform the letters submitted by the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning and the Division Chair, in addition to forming a section of the file in their own right.) IEQs serve the FSC as a stimulus for discussion, as confirmation of other information, and as evidence of student perceptions regarding teaching effectiveness.

  4. Additional Items

    As part of good teaching practice, all faculty are encouraged to seek feedback early and often about how students are experiencing the content and pedagogy in each course. At the end of the term, if individual faculty or faculty groups (by department, division, GSTR course, etc.) wish to add items of their own design in conjunction with the IEQ, they are welcome to do so. The electronic IEQ system offers the capability of constructing additional questions whose responses are known only to the instructor.

  5. Continuing Evaluation of IEQ Instrument and Process

    The Faculty Status Council has a continuing responsibility to monitor the effectiveness of the instrument and procedures for collecting evaluation information. In meeting that responsibility, the Council will solicit comments and suggestions from students, faculty, the OIRA staff, and other interested persons three years after any significant policy change is first adopted and at least every five years thereafter. Any proposed changes in the system will be submitted to the College Faculty Assembly for approval.

Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire

After grades have been turned in, the faculty member you are evaluating will be sent a summary of the class’s numerical responses as well as typed versions of all written comments as they appear on the forms. Faculty and academic administrators with responsibility for faculty performance reviews and personnel decisions will have access to the same material for purposes of probationary, tenure and promotion review. This questionnaire is not intended to substitute for existing procedures by which students may register complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination.

1. What is your student classification?

2. Why did you take this course?

Freshman

General requirement

Sophomore

For major

Junior

For minor

Senior

Elective outside major

Special

 

3. On the average, how many hours per week, in and out of class, did you spend on this course?

4. How much do you think you learned from this course?

1 - 5

Very little

6 - 10

A fair amount

11 - 15

Much

16 - 20

An exceptional amount

More than 20

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

5. The instructor created a stimulating learning atmosphere for critical and independent thinking.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

6. The instructor was actively concerned with my progress.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

7. The instructor expected a high level of performance.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

8. The instructor was well prepared for class.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

9. The instructor stimulated my interest in the subject.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

10. The instructor was available for consultation outside of class.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

11. The instructor’s assignments were helpful to my learning.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

12. The instructor encouraged students to ask questions and/or express their ideas.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

13. The instructor’s grading was fair.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

14. The instructor made clear the objectives of the course.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

 

Very Poor

Poor

Average

Very Good

Excellent

15. How would you rate this instructor’s overall teaching effectiveness?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

16. How would you rate this course overall?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

17. Please comment on how much you learned in this course and how hard you worked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Please describe the teaching strengths of this instructor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. What suggestions would you make to improve the teaching effectiveness of the instructor in this course?