A report released on Friday by the American Educational Research Association offers recommendations for reassessing faculty evaluations at a time when colleges have faced serious financial pressures and increased scrutiny about the quality of teaching and learning.
The report, “Rethinking Faculty Evaluation,” lays out recommendations in the assessment of three areas: teaching, research, and how faculty members communicate the results of their scholarship with policy makers and the public. It calls the guidelines “a starting point rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.”
To gauge teaching, the report recommends that assessments focus on learning outcomes using evidence-based criteria. It also suggests that scholarship be judged beyond the publication of single-author journal articles, to include consideration of new research methods. Finally, the report recommends that faculty members’ methods of communication and engagement be assessed by developing “valid measures of their academic quality.”