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Faculty Evaluations

30 August 2018

Evaluations are one of most important and yet tenuous faculty-to-faculty interactions. Most instructional faculty receive little to no pedagogical training, and most receive almost no training in conducting evaluation of peers. And, yet, formal faculty evaluations are one of the most high-stakes tools we use to understand the quality of faculty interaction and success with our students. 

A few studies have shown the limitations of student evaluations (“An Evaluation of Course Evaluations” and “Flawed Evaluations”) while others have created inventories to look more broadly on an instructor’s effectiveness (“A Better Way to Evaluate Undergraduate Teaching”). In Spring 2013, the state Academic Senate came up with this report, “Sound Principles for Faculty Evaluation,” espousing the need for candid conversations founded in cultures of trust, especially when making “hard decisions.”

In 2015, Peralta’s faculty union (PFT 1603) and District Academic Senate (DAS) jointly approved an inquiry into faculty evaluations. Representatives conducted a survey, held focus groups, and eventually drafted an outline of suggested practices for evaluation of face-to-face instructional faculty: Draft of Suggested Practices for Faculty Evaluations (Face-to-Face Instruction).

While that was a great start, we still need to create such an outline for non-instructional faculty and for fully online classes. In addition, it seems that more frequent formative (and informal) evaluations from a number of data points might help faculty review and improve their practice with more regularity and rigor.

For more information on Peralta’s faculty evaluation, please visit this site:

Faculty Evaluations Handbook & Forms

Edit: Vanson Nguyen sent these interesting documents (note: these are only resources and not suggested practices or mandated procedures):

Filed under: Evaluations, Faculty, Training. Tagged: ,

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