Documenting Teaching: Use Multiple Sources of Evidence
In the assessment of teaching, all the experts insist on one thing: it's important to have multiple sources of evidence. This is because every potential source provides a different perspective, each with certain limitations. Here are some basic categories to consider when gathering evidence of effective teaching. Within these categories are various options. No one expects all these sources to be used--nor is it necessary to "choose one from each category"--but it is good to present evidence from a variety of perspectives.
Note: Departments or colleges may require specific kinds of evidence. Be sure you know what your department/ college requires.
Students can tell us a lot about our teaching. But there are other areas where students may be biased, or where they are simply not qualified to judge. Here are some suggestions for using and evaluating student-provided data.
Some of the most important evidence of teaching effectiveness is evidence we provide ourselves. Although faculty may not be the best judges of their own teaching effectiveness, the materials we provide can be extremely important in setting a context for other evidence in the file.
While our peers don't experience our teaching directly, they are better able than students to judge such things as subject-matter expertise, course goals, grading practices, professional ethics, and thesis supervision. Here are some ways to arrange for meaningful peer review of teaching.