All faculty members are expected to provide students with a syllabus which includes the subject matter to be covered in a course, a listing of assignments and/or reports, approximate dates of examinations, grading standards, attendance requirements, and other pertinent details of the conduct of the class. A Student Survey of Instruction (hereafter “SSI”) is required in each course in each semester and will be conducted by each faculty member under the auspices of the director following applicable University policies and procedures (See Section IX of this handbook). Probationary faculty members are encouraged to undergo peer review of teaching during each year of the probationary period. Supervision and direction of undergraduate research projects and theses is part of the teaching function.
All faculty and graduate teaching assistants of the School of Art are required to have their teaching evaluated during each semester. (See Section IX.H of this handbook for further information.) The primary purpose of student evaluations shall be to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching performance which will assist faculty in the necessary improvement of instruction. TT faculty submitting materials for re-appointment, promotion, tenure, and/or merit salary increments, must include teaching evaluations.
The approved Student Survey of Instruction (SSI) shall be used by students in rating the performance of faculty. Under no circumstances shall faculty administer their own instructor evaluations; or know the results of their evaluations until all final grades for their courses have been submitted. The division coordinator and/or the director shall review instructor evaluations with each faculty member and shall provide advice and constructive criticism when and where appropriate to assist in the improvement of teaching.
The Kent State University Faculty Senate has endorsed the following basic requirements for faculty teaching performance.
The following items are seen as minimal expectations of any college instructor. For the most part, they involve actions and procedures easily undertaken and readily assessable.
1. Regular and reasonable office hours consistent with University policy and the needs of students.
2. Provision of syllabus, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) a statement on course objectives and expectations;
(b) a general calendar indicating the substance and sequence of the course and important dates and deadlines; and
(c) a clear statement of grading policy and grade weighting.
3. Punctuality in starting and ending classes.
4. Reasonable notification of and provision for faculty absence.
5. Adequate notification of assignments, examinations, changes in syllabus.
6. Provision of reasonable make-up procedures for legitimately missed exams or other graded work.
7. Evaluation of work with adequate and constructive comments written out for students or given orally to the whole class as is appropriate to the character of the assignment.
8. Evaluation of work within a reasonable time frame that allows the student to benefit from the instructor's comments prior to the next assignment.
While the intellectual and judgmental skills essential for acceptable teaching are more open to interpretation than class management techniques, the following items are presented as constructive suggestions for the improvement of teaching on our campuses.
1. Content, assignments, and approach reasonable to the level, aims, and nature of the course.
2. Concern for appropriate teaching technique.
3. Effective use of class time.
4. Adequate class and course preparation.
5. Testing and grading practices that relate directly to course content and assignments.
6. Communication skills appropriate to the level of students and subject matter in the course.*
*(It is largely the responsibility of the administration to identify the problem area in communication skills through appropriate screening procedures and/or when complaints are raised concerning faculty. A plan for faculty improvement should be prescribed and then appropriate class assignments made for the faculty member involved.)
7. Knowledge ability and currency regarding subject matter. *
*(It is the responsibility of faculty members to remain current in the material covered in their own courses and to be knowledgeable about developments in their disciplines, especially as regards changes in cognate courses within the division or school curriculum. The administration shares this responsibility, first in providing time and encouragement for professional development, and second, in responsibly managing class assignments appropriate to the knowledge and background of the individual faculty member.)
Interpersonal relations inevitably are difficult to prescribe and evaluate, and yet they set the tone and environment for the learning experience. In this regard, the faculty members of the School of Art view the following as essential.
- Establishing a climate wherein questions, relevant comments, and intellectual interaction are encouraged.
- Nondiscriminatory treatment of students based upon their personal or social backgrounds, preferences, or characteristics.