Peer Evaluation in MCLS

In order to document the quality of instruction and to supplement student evaluations, the Department has established a procedure for peer evaluations of faculty teaching. While the frequency of the evaluations will vary with the faculty member’s status as indicated below, the procedure will be essentially uniform in all cases. In particular, classes will be observed and evaluated according to the following guidelines:

1. Classes should be evaluated in the context of the specific objectives of the course.

2. The evaluator should consider several factors, among them: (1) instructor preparation as indicated by the clarity of lesson structure, expertise on material covered, and selection of supplemental resources, such as hand-outs; (2) instructor performance as indicated by organization, effective use of class time, clarity of assignments and explanations, ability to maintain student interest and participation, by verbal and non-verbal elements such as correction of errors, and by use of classroom space; (3) general elements such as student-instructor rapport, respect shown to and by students, teaching pace, appropriateness and level of difficulty of activities, including (as may be appropriate) use of the target language by students and instructor.

3. The overall evaluation should include positive features, especially the sense of accomplishment resulting from the class activities, and note any problem areas observed.

d. The principal task is to describe accurately and evaluate objectively, rather than merely to criticize or praise.

Procedure. In the case of pre-tenure regular full-time faculty (and tenured faculty who request review), the Chairperson will consult with the FAC and the instructor to be evaluated in order to designate an appropriate tenured faculty member as peer evaluator. In the case of full-time non-tenure-track faculty, the Chairperson will consult with the FAC and the instructor in order to designate an appropriate faculty member as peer evaluator. In the case of part-time instructors, the coordinator of the respective functional unit or sub-unit will consult with his/her committee to designate an appropriate evaluator.

The Chair person will inform the instructor to be evaluated who the peer evaluator will be and which class will be evaluated. A particular class may be specified; over time each faculty member shall be evaluated in all major curricular areas taught. The instructor and the peer evaluator will agree on a mutually convenient date and time for the class observation. As soon as possible after observing the class, the peer evaluator will submit to the Chairperson a report based on the established criteria. This report will represent an accurate picture of the instructor’s teaching, describing positive features and, as circumstances may require, those which might be improved. The Chairperson will give the instructor a copy of the report and invite the instructor to discuss it; the peer evaluator may also be invited to participate in the discussion. The report will then be placed in the evaluated faculty member’s permanent file.

Frequency. Faculty in tenure-track positions on the Kent or a Regional Campus will undergo evaluations at least once every academic year; faculty on term appointments may undergo an annual evaluation at the discretion of the Chairperson and FAC. Additional evaluations may occur if the Chairperson, in consultation with the FAC, deems it appropriate. The Department recommends that tenured faculty undergo peer evaluation at least once every three years; those who anticipate standing for promotion are especially encouraged to keep their peer evaluations current. Tenured faculty on the Kent or a Regional Campus may volunteer to undergo peer evaluation more frequently and will approach the Chairperson within the first half of the semester to initiate the process. Full-time non-tenure-track faculty undergo peer evaluations annually during their first three-year appointment and at least once in the succeeding three-year appointment as part of their cumulative three-year review required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Part-time faculty undergo regular peer evaluations on a rotating basis established and initiated by the Chair in consultation with the faculty of the respective unit or sub-units.

Use of Evaluations. For full-time tenure-track faculty, files submitted in support of application for reappointment, tenure, or the first promotion will include copies of all peer evaluations since the date of hire. Files submitted for a subsequent promotion must include all peer evaluations since the last promotion. Accordingly, faculty who anticipate standing for promotion are responsible for initiating and undergoing at least one peer evaluation during the year immediately preceding their candidacy. Peer evaluations also play a role in decisions to renew contracts offered to part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty.