Purpose of Evaluation
The purpose of evaluation is to:
- recognize meritorious performance
- improve the quality of teaching
- identify appropriate professional development activities
- uncover impediments to faculty productivity
Accreditation criteria of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) require periodic evaluations of the performance of individual faculty members. The college must demonstrate that it uses the results of this evaluation for improvement of the faculty and its educational programs.
Who is Evaluated and When
Central Piedmont faculty on extendible contracts (after three successful years on a conditional contract) are formally evaluated every other year unless the associate dean elects to conduct the evaluations more often. New part-time instructors and new full-time instructors are evaluated during their first semester of teaching. Continuing part-time and full-time instructors on conditional contracts are evaluated annually.
Tools Used in Evaluation
Supervisors are encouraged to use a variety of evaluation tools, including course evaluations (formerly called Student Opinion Surveys), classroom observations, individual conferences, portfolio evaluations, and, for full-time faculty, the Performance Development Plan.
Who Conducts the Evaluation
Part-time instructors are usually evaluated by a coordinator, discipline chair, or program chair. They may also be evaluated by an experienced full-time instructor on a continuing contract who is selected to help with evaluations. Full-time instructors are typically evaluated by a director. In some cases, the instructional dean may also participate in the evaluation process.
Human Resources provides on-demand training for supervisors and other faculty who may be asked to help with evaluations.
The feedback tool that is used most frequently, particularly for new part-time and new full-time instructors, is a classroom observation followed by a conference to discuss strengths and weaknesses. Observers use the following guidelines in conducting classroom observations:
- An observation should be a positive, supportive experience for our faculty. The purpose of the observation is to look at behavior and to suggest ways to improve learning for students.
- Observations should be at least fifty minutes.
- The observer will use the Classroom Observation Form or a form approved by the supervisor.
- The observer will be familiar with the descriptors and will use specific observation notes, avoiding vague terms like “good job” or “nice".
- The observer will have a follow-up conference with the instructor within 30 days after the classroom observation.
- Where areas of improvement are noted, the supervisor and the instructor will agree on an action plan.
- If training is needed, the supervisor can notify Professional Development so that training sessions can be developed, if they are not already available.
Online Course Visitation
As more and more classes at Central Piedmont become web-based or web-enhanced, it is important to observe these classes to determine that the quality of teaching is the same whether the class is taught in a traditional format, partially online, or fully online. The Classroom Observation Form for Online and Hybrid Courses covers syllabus, communications, instructor feedback, and a plan for course improvement/enhancement.
Course Evaluations (formerly Student Opinion Surveys)
Course evaluations are conducted during each term (fall, spring, and summer) as a way for the instructor and the supervisor to get feedback from students concerning the quality of courses and instruction.
All curriculum courses are evaluated using one online tool, eXplorance Blue. Curriculum courses use the same online questionnaire, which is composed of a standard set of questions. The course evaluation period is determined by the length of the course:
- For 8, 12, and 16-week courses, the evaluation period opens two weeks before a course ends and closes at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of class.
- For shorter courses, the course evaluation period opens one week before a course ends and closes at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of class.
When a course opens for evaluation, students receive an automated email notification with a link to the online course evaluation. During the course evaluation period, students also receive up to two reminder emails for evaluations that have not been completed. Students log in to the system using their Central Piedmont user ID. Instructions for completing and submitting evaluations are included with each online course evaluation.
Course evaluation results are available through the online course evaluation tool, eXplorance Blue. Reports will be available five days after the official end of the class as reported on the COD. Report data include instructor and department means, as well as student comments. Reports can be viewed online and saved as PDF files. When reports become available, supervisors and faculty receive an automated email notification with a link to the online reports. Central Piedmont User ID is required to log in to the system. Supervisors only have access to reports for their faculty; faculty only have access to reports for their courses.
The Central Piedmont Course Evaluation website provides general information about the course evaluation process and answers to frequently asked questions.
Performance Development Plan (PDP) for Full-Time Instructors
All full-time employees at Central Piedmont are evaluated regularly through the Performance Development Plan. This consists of an initial conference with the supervisor to identify critical job responsibilities or projects for the year. A semi-annual review and an end of the year review are held. Full-time instructors are evaluated on instructional knowledge, teaching effectiveness, service to students, professional interactions, professional development, college service, and administrative responsibilities.
During the Performance Development Plan review, the supervisor and instructor:
- Review results of Course Evaluations from the previous fall and spring terms. It is suggested that the supervisor encourage the instructor to access their course evaluation reports at least two weeks prior to the Performance Development Plan review so that the instructor can look over the results, conduct a self-assessment, and design a plan for how to improve in any problem area. Course Evaluation results are only one factor in assessing teaching effectiveness.
- Review classroom observations, noting strengths and weaknesses.
- Review portfolios of instructor teaching projects, activities, and techniques, if provided.
- Review self-assessments or peer assessments, if provided.
- Outline an improvement plan, if needed.
As Performance Development Plans are completed and training needs identified, the supervisor may share training needs with the Office of Professional Development so they will know which programs and workshops to develop and offer.
Policy 1.07 Employment Contracts outlines initial and term contracts, subsequent conditional contracts, extendible contracts, and non-reappointment: “Recommendation for an extendible contract must be accompanied by a detailed evaluation of the employee’s demonstrated ability to perform assigned duties at a high level of competency. Once an employee is awarded an extendible contract, the contract shall be extended annually unless the employee...has received an Unsatisfactory rating as determined by the annual performance rating obtained through the evaluation system in effect at that time."
Evaluation of Newly Hired Instructors
The evaluation of part-time faculty will include classroom visitation/evaluation by a supervisor or other designated person, student evaluations, and an evaluation conference at least once every year. For newly hired part-time instructors, one iteration of the evaluation process will be completed by the second semester of the instructor’s employment.
Evaluation of Newly Hired Part-Time Instructors
- All new part-time instructors will be observed in an instructional setting during the first two semesters of employment. The observation visits may be announced or unannounced. The evaluator will use the current Central Piedmont Classroom Observation Form as the basis of the evaluation.
- Students in each of their classes will evaluate all part-time instructors each semester.
- A program chair, discipline chair, coordinator, associate dean, director, dean, or other designated faculty member will complete the evaluation of new part-time instructors. If someone is designated as an evaluator, that designation must be recommended by the associate dean and approved by the appropriate dean.
- A conference will be held between the part-time instructor and an evaluator/supervisor no later than at the end of the second semester of instruction, at which time student opinion surveys, classroom observation/evaluation materials, and other pertinent information will be discussed.
- Positive comments and suggestions for improvement will be recorded on the “Comments” section of the classroom observation form. The part-time instructor and the evaluator will both sign the document. A copy will be provided to the instructor and the associate dean.
- After the initial evaluation, the part-time instructor will be evaluated at least once a year.
- A part-time instructor who does not achieve a satisfactory evaluation will not be rehired.
Evaluation of Continuing Part-Time Instructors
- For part-time instructors who have completed two semesters of teaching at Central Piedmont, a classroom observation/evaluation will occur by a supervisor/evaluator at least once every year of employment. The observation visit may be announced or unannounced. The evaluator will use the Central Piedmont Classroom Observation Form as the basis for the evaluation.
- Student Opinion Surveys will be administered in all classes and at all sites. Student confidentiality will be maintained.
- The associate dean, program chair, discipline chair, or coordinator will conference with each part-time instructor annually to discuss teaching strengths and weaknesses based upon the instructor’s self-assessment, data from the Student Opinion Survey, and classroom observations. The conference will be used to discuss ways to improve teaching performance, and to suggest appropriate professional development activities.
- Positive comments and suggestions for improvement will be recorded on the “Comments” section of the Classroom Observation Form. The part-time instructor and the evaluator will both sign the document. A copy will be provided to the instructor, and to the associate dean.