Developing and Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness at Colorado State University

An international conversation around an increased focus on high-quality teaching at R1 institutions has been gaining momentum for several years. A recent shift in the conversation, focused on identifying fair and valid measures to evaluate effective teaching, continues to grow. On the one hand, individual departments and colleges look to their institutions’ teaching and learning centers for guidance in matters of pedagogy. On the other, university policies for compensation and promotion often complicate the construction of a university-wide process for developing, evaluating, and compensating high-quality teaching. Colorado State University (CSU) faced this challenge head-on through two initiatives: the faculty-led Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness Task Force in 2015 and the effort of our team from The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) in 2018. The task force was instrumental in changing the CSU Faculty Manual code, requiring departments to define effective teaching and assess it using as evidence multiple measures instead of a single average score from student evaluations. To support departments, TILT constructed a definition of effective teaching, which led to the creation of a collection of tools (the Teaching Effectiveness Framework) and a recommended process for developing and evaluating teaching at CSU.

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