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History

  • Policy Number: SP.14.001
  • Version: Revision 2
  • Drafted By: Phil Hampton
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 6/8/15
  • Effective Date: Fall 2015
  • Supersedes: SP.07.012 & SP.07.019

Purpose

To outline policy regarding the selection of a Student-Rating of Teaching (SRT) instrument and how SRT rankings shall be viewed in faculty evaluation. Supersedes SP-07-12 and SP-07-19.

Background

Senate Policy 07-12 superseded SP-02-02 and required that a Student Ratings of Teaching (SRT) instrument be approved by the Academic Senate. SP-07-12 also stated that instructors shall not access SRT results until after course grades have been assigned and that instructors of team-taught courses shall receive separate SRT. Subsequently, Senate Policy 07-19 provided a SRT instrument. As a result of SP-07-12 and SP-07-19, all revisions to the existing SRT instrument had to be made through a policy to the Academic Senate. In the opinion of the Faculty Affairs Committee, instruments for assessing the quality of instruction are not policies and, as a result, it is not appropriate for such instruments to be brought before the Academic Senate as a policy.

The below policy seeks to establish how the SRT instrument is revised, implemented, and interpreted, as well as establishing criteria for the structure of the SRT instrument. Instead of having the Academic Senate approve any change to the SRT, the Faculty Affairs Committee is tasked with soliciting input on revisions to the SRT and crafting a revised SRT instrument that will then be voted on by all faculty members, including lecturers and tenure-track faculty.

Policy

Accountability

Faculty Affairs Committee, Faculty Affairs

Applicability

All Faculty

Text

I. SELECTION OF AN INSTRUMENT

  1. Revision of the SRT and/or selection of an alternative instrument is the responsibility of the Faculty Affairs Committee in consultation with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
  2. SRT instruments are to be reviewed every five years within the first six weeks of the Academic Year. Should a simple majority of faculty (tenured/ tenure-track faculty and lecturers) request a revision to the existing SRT instrument, the Faculty Affairs Committee will survey all faculty for concerns about the SRT.
  3. Appendix A contains procedures for collecting faculty (tenured/ tenure-track faculty and lecturers) input regarding revisions to the SRT instrument and/or selecting an alternative instrument.
  4. SRT instrument approval requires a majority vote by the Faculty Affairs Committee.
  5. Voting on proposed SRT instruments will be open to all faculty members, including lecturers and tenure-track faculty. A simple majority of the voting faculty members (tenure-track and lecturer) will determine if the existing SRT will be replaced with the proposed new SRT. If a simple majority of the voting faculty is not reached, the existing SRT will be implemented for another academic year.
  6. The SRT revision process must be completed by eighth week of the Spring semester to allow for faculty to vote in the tenth week of the semester.

II. REQUIRED COMPONENTS OF THE SRT

  1. Types of SRT Questions
    • Closed-ended questions
      • No more than fifteen closed-ended questions shall be included in the SRT. The questions shall be worded in such a way as to accommodate alternative format courses, e.g. supervisor, laboratory, and on-line classes.
      • No more than two questions in addition to the fifteen maximum questions may be implemented by College/ School and a maximum of an additional two questions from the Program Area/ Department areas. A majority vote of tenured/tenure-track and lecturer faculty in the College/ School and/or Program Area/ Department is required for these types of questions. Questions of this type are only voted on by the College/ School and/or the Program Area/ Department and are not subject to the five-year review cycle.
    • Open-ended questions required for all classes. 
      • No more than three open-ended questions shall be included in the SRT
      • No more than two additional open-ended questions may be required by the College/ School and a maximum of one additional open-ended question may be included by the Program Area/ Department. A majority vote of tenured/tenure-track and lecturer faculty in the College/ School and/or Program Area/ Department is required for this type of question to be added to the SRT.  Questions of this type are only voted on by the College/ School and/or the Program Area/ Department and are not subject to the five-year review cycle.
  2. Required Types of SRT questions
    • Student Engagement in the Class, e.g. expected grade, time spent outside of class preparation/ studying, student class attendance, etc.
    • Student Ratings of Teaching, e.g. instructor availability outside of class, the clarity and pace of lectures, legibility of the instructor’s handwriting, timeliness of feedback on student performance on assignments/ examinations/ papers, etc.
  3. Guidelines in the Development and Implementation of Student Evaluation of Teaching Instruments:
    • The central score on closed-ended questions shall be neutral.
    • Broad, summary questions (essay or ranking) that ask students to evaluate the effectiveness of an instructor’s teaching or the value of a course will be avoided.

III. ADMINISTRATION OF THE SRT 

  1. The SRT shall be administered during the last two weeks of instruction but before finals week.
  2. Individual student SRT responses shall be kept confidential.
  3. Instructors participating in team-taught courses shall receive separate evaluations.
  4. SRT shall be administered on-line.
  5. At the time of administering a SRT, instructors shall be given an opportunity to indicate extenuating experiences that might have affected student evaluations, for example, characteristics of the classroom and/or its proximity to external noise, first time teaching the course, etc.
  6. Instructors are encouraged to facilitate as high of a response rate by students as possible (>50%). Approaches that could be used in facilitating a high response rate include (a) asking students to bring a web-enabled device on a specific class day and setting aside class time for students to complete the SRT, (b) providing grade incentives that benefit all students in the class to no more than 0.5% of students’ grade in the course, and (c) reminding students this is their primary means to communicate instructor effectiveness.
  7. Instructors shall not have access to the SRT results until after course grades have been assigned.
  8. Faculty shall have an opportunity to comment on SRT scores. In this response, faculty may discuss the course objectives and how their teaching methods allowed them to meet that objective as well as how circumstances could have impacted their evaluations

IV. SRT REPORTING

  1. The SRT report generated shall indicate the number of students completing the SRT as well as individual questions on the SRT, the number of students enrolled in the course and percentage of students completing the SRT.
  2. The instructor statement regarding extenuating circumstances shall be placed at the beginning of the SRT report to put the scores in context.
  3. Normed data regarding how the scores for a given course compare with other courses across campus as a whole and disaggregated according to the CSU Course Classification System but not disaggregated according to the discipline where the course was taught. If a commercial instrument is used as the SRT, national norm data shall be provided.
  4. The below statement shall be placed within the personnel action files of all instructors where SRT reports are collected. At all levels of review of SRT, these statements shall be taken into consideration.

“Evaluation of an instructor’s teaching should be based on more than one course’s SRT and, if possible, over more than one semester.

Evaluation of an instructor’s teaching should be based not only on SRTs scores but also on peer evaluations of teaching, review of student work, and review of course materials, e.g. syllabi, examinations, writing assignments, lecture presentations and/or notes, course websites, and student assignments.”

Exhibit(s)

Appendix A: Procedure for Revision of the Student Evaluation of Teaching

APPENDIX A

Procedure for Revision of the Student Evaluation of Teaching

The following procedure should be followed by the Faculty Affairs Committee if a vote of the faculty results in a call for revision of the SRT.

  1. All faculty are surveyed regarding changes they would like to see made to the current SRT instrument and whether commercial SRT instruments (examples provided) should be considered.
  2. The Faculty Affairs Committee considers whether revision of the SRT is warranted or whether there is interest in adopting a commercial SRT instrument.
  3. If revision of the current SRT is warranted, a list of proposed revisions are presented to the faculty and a vote is taken on each proposed change to the instrument.
  4. If the vote passes for a given item, the requested change will be built into a revision of the SRT.
  5. The Faculty Affairs Committee shall develop a revised version of the SRT and approve it by a majority vote of the Committee.
  6. The Faculty Affairs Committee approved SRT shall be presented at a minimum of one brown-bag session open to the faculty.
  7. The Faculty Affairs Committee shall consider input from all the faculty input sessions.
  8. The Faculty Affairs Committee shall develop a final version of the SRT and approve it by a majority vote of the Committee.
  9. The final version of the SRT shall be posted on-line for a minimum of two weeks for public review prior to bringing it to a vote of the entire faculty.