Teaching Expectations | Lifespan Development & Educational Sciences Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Teaching Expectations

Teaching involves both instructional activities and the systematic reflection of the practice of teaching. Instruction and advisement are considered important functions of Faculty members in the School. Documented evidence must be submitted for review when personnel decisions are to be made.

Instruction includes the teaching of lecture courses; the teaching of experiential-based and skill-building courses; the supervision of practicum and/or internships; the conducting of web-based seminars and workshops; the direction of individual investigations; and the direction or co-direction of dissertations and/or master’s theses/projects. In addition to course evaluation, which is systematically required from students enrolled in credit courses for the purpose of institutional evaluation, instructional evaluation will also include colleague (i.e., peer) review and administrative assessment. Evaluations by students, colleagues, School Director, and other administrators (where appropriate) shall be summarized in a self-appraisal and presented for consideration by reviewing bodies.

Faculty members in the School are required to participate in and document a variety of activities to help improve their teaching. Faculty members within the School should continually hone their skills to promote active and engaged teaching and learning within the classroom. Faculty practicing the scholarship of teaching and learning may focus on change as they develop their practice through a cycle of action, reflection and improvement.  Reflection and responsiveness to peer and student feedback is another valued component of development of teaching skills regardless of level (undergraduate, master’s, doctoral). Faculty are expected to be responsive to the needs of students and provide high quality and sustained mentorship through their duties as advisors, committee members, and/or thesis/dissertation directors.  Additional activities may include self-study using materials such as books or journals that specialize in general college teaching practices.  Further, Faculty members may wish to participate in local workshops and seminars offered through the KSU Center for Teaching and Learning or go to sessions aimed at discipline specific educational practices when attending regional and national meetings of learned societies. 

 

Examples of quality Teaching include, but are not limited to:

  • Positive evaluation by students, colleagues, and administrators; and evidence of growth as a result of such evaluations;
  • Formative and Summative feedback or data related to student outcomes;
  • Demonstration of teaching efforts that reflect consideration and modification of teaching practice based on data and feedback;
  • Involvement in establishing a meaningful line of inquiry around effective teaching practices;
  • Involvement of systematic examination of teaching and learning and dissemination of findings at the local, state and national/international levels through publications and presentations;
  • Recognitions for outstanding instruction such as Distinguished Teacher Award or nominations, commendatory letters, or other awards;
  • Any special circumstances or unusual efforts pertaining to specific instructional assignments or evaluations;
  • Evidence of both quality and quantity doctoral dissertation/co-direction and/or master’s theses/project direction;
  • Evidence of responsiveness and attentiveness to students’ concerns;
  • Evidence of quantity and quality of advisement of students;
  • Leadership in program development;
  • Leadership in committees that target personnel development and training opportunities;
  • Involvement in activities that seek external funds needed to engage in teaching and learning at all levels at the University;
  • Evidence of collaborative, interdisciplinary work across Faculty and institutions and where possible, include opportunities for support and mentorship of students;
  • Active involvement in the University Teaching Council or the Center for Teaching and Learning;
  • Incorporation of evidence-based instructional strategies into classroom practices; and
  • Internal and external grant funding to support curriculum, personnel development and/or to benefit the community at the local, state or national, and/or global/international levels

 

In evaluating the candidate’s materials for teaching, reviewing bodies will note:

  1. Instructional Evaluation – In accordance with University and College and Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services policy, School Faculty shall systematically obtain student evaluations of their instruction according to established procedural guidelines. Faculty being considered for review shall submit the computer printouts containing summative data of student evaluations for department review. Faculty must also summarize these data and provide supplemental data from open-ended questions.
  2. Colleague Review – Faculty members in the School select appropriate experienced Faculty who are above the candidate’s current rank and who are knowledgeable in andragogy to conduct Peer Review of Teaching. Reviews may include class presentations, the course content, course objectives, methodology, grading and examinations, course organization, student achievement, homework assignments, and required materials.  Additionally, instructional design that promotes engaged teaching and learning may be evaluated.  Instructional design skills include the ability to sequence experiences and materials to induce learning in students and to measure or confirm that learning has occurred. In doing this task, reviewers may be supplied with course syllabi, tests, and/or handouts.
  3. Self-Appraisal – Thoughtful self-evaluation of teaching performance through a cycle of action, reflection, and change is a requisite for improved teaching and learning. It is important for Faculty to show evidence of an honest, active endeavor to assess their strengths and weaknesses and to refine their instructional approach. The process by which Faculty systematically evaluate and improve their teaching must be included in their Contextual Statement. Faculty (pre-tenured and tenured) may demonstrate competence in teaching as evidenced by a variety of means. Therefore, evidence of teaching effectiveness is demonstrated through constant reflection, change in practice, and improvement, and does not rely solely on university summative student evaluations.
  1. Considerations for Reappointment

    Ongoing progress toward strong performance in classroom instruction and advising.  Examples of ongoing progress toward strong performance requires student evaluations and comments, annual peer evaluations of teaching, participation in college teaching professional development, and self-appraisal of teaching evident in the contextual statement.

  2. Considerations for Tenure

    University Guidelines identify the specific standards for tenure by which the School adheres. That is, the School’s guidelines for tenure mirror university policy. In general, tenure is established when strong performance and commitment to ongoing improvement in classroom instruction and fulfillment of advising responsibilities is demonstrated. Evidence of mentoring students must be presented and, when possible, involvement in doctoral dissertation directing / co-directing and/or master’s level theses/project advisement. Examples of strong performance and ongoing improvement are required through multiple indicators. Such indicators may include, but are not limited to: positive peer evaluations, positive Student evaluations and comments, development of new courses and programs that are responsive to current needs, innovative teaching and learning methods, participation in learning communities, advising/mentorship of students, demonstration of teaching efforts that reflect consideration and modification of teaching practice based on data and feedback, and establishing a meaningful line of inquiry around effective teaching practices. The quality and impact of the candidate’s teaching record and must be articulated within the Contextual Statement using factors such as those identified in this Handbook.

  3. Considerations for Promotion to Associate Professor

    Strong performance and commitment to ongoing improvement in classroom instruction and fulfillment of advising responsibilities must be demonstrated. Evidence of mentoring students must be presented and when possible involvement in doctoral dissertation directing / co-directing and/or master’s level theses/project advisement. Examples of strong performance and ongoing improvement are required through multiple indicators. Such indicators may include, but are not limited to: positive peer evaluations, positive student evaluations and comments, development of new courses and programs that are responsive to current needs, innovative teaching and learning methods, participation in learning communities, advising/mentorship of students, demonstration of teaching efforts that reflect consideration and modification of teaching practice based on data and feedback, and establishing a meaningful line of inquiry around effective teaching practices. The quality and impact of the candidate’s teaching record and must be articulated within the Contextual Statement using factors such as those identified in this Handbook.

  4. Considerations for Promotion to Professor

    Strong performance and commitment to ongoing improvement in classroom instruction and fulfillment of advising responsibilities must be demonstrated. A pattern of mentoring students must be presented and, when possible, involvement in doctoral dissertation directing/ co-directing and/or master’s level theses/project advisement. Examples of strong performance and ongoing improvement are required through multiple indicators. Such indicators may include, but are not limited to: positive peer evaluations of recent teaching; positive student evaluations during the past three to four years; teaching awards; leadership in program development; directing doctoral dissertations and/or master’s theses; leadership in university committees in personnel preparation and training; leadership at the larger program level accreditation efforts and reporting; participation in external reviews for university programs; engagement in personnel preparation efforts at the local, state or national levels; and a record of seeking external funds to support personnel preparation and training efforts.