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A Proposed Model for the Incorporation of Student Learning Outcomes in

Comprehensive Faculty Evaluation

 

The following model is offered as a guide for college Academic Senates and AFT Chapters as they consider approaches for the incorporation of student learning outcomes in the faculty evaluation process. This model is meant to spark college-wide faculty discussion and dialogue on the issue, and is not meant to be summarily adopted as a “one-size-fits-all” policy. College Senates and AFT Chapters are welcome to use the model as a starting point for developing their own recommendations for addressing the role of student learning outcomes in faculty evaluations. Such recommendations should be adopted by Senates and Chapters as “guidelines” only, and should not violate the provisions of Article 19 in the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement. The model builds on and affirms the following principles:

 

1. Faculty Professionalism

 

As professionals, faculty are committed to on-going self development that contributes to the effectiveness of the departments and institutions they serve. Because faculty are professionals, they also play the central role in assessing their own contributions and abilities and setting goals for their own future self development.

 

2. The Faculty’s Commitment to Student Learning

 

LACCD faculty are committed to promoting student success and student learning. All of the faculty’s activities and efforts—whether they be related to class preparation, committee work, or campus service—are dedicated to this end.

 

3. The Connection between Evaluation and Professional Development

 

One way that faculty can enhance student learning is through their professional development activities. Thus, a connection between faculty evaluation and student learning can be made through faculty involvement in professional development.

 

4. Focusing on the Positive: Personal and Institutional Improvement

 

As stated in Article 19: “The excellence of the institution depends on the quality of its faculty members….When performed conscientiously, evaluation can enhance faculty performance and promote excellence by providing positive reinforcement, constructive advice, and specific recommendations for improvement. Evaluation provides an opportunity for professional growth, recognition, and improvement.”

 

5. Fairness

 

The greatest care should be taken to guarantee that evaluation processes are transparent and fair. Working with the members of their evaluation committees, faculty members should determine, in advance, what information, data, and other documentation they will be required to submit to their peer evaluation committees.

 

6. Collegial Dialogue

 

Because faculty are central to the college mission, faculty evaluation is a process that lends itself to serious self-assessment and open discussion with faculty peers about the individual faculty member’s role in supporting departmental and institutional goals and priorities.

 

The Proposed Model Evaluation Process

 

The model proposed here involves “comprehensive evaluation” as defined in Article 19 of the current AFT Agreement, the more rigorous of the periodic faculty evaluation processes which is based on “information derived from considerable structured data gathering under the supervision of a peer review committee.” Within the proposed model, the comprehensive evaluation process would include a “self-evaluation” component that would provide the opportunity for serious reflection and goal setting. This self-assessment component would offer a “snap shot” of the individual faculty member’s professional development activities since the last major evaluation, an assessment of the faculty member’s contribution to the campus-wide and departmental student learning outcomes efforts, and a clear statement of future goals and action plans for improvement. Because faculty play such a central role in institutional improvement and student learning, these personal goals could ideally support or link to overarching college goals and objectives—including goals established at the institutional level within the college’s educational master plan and at the departmental level within program review.

 

 

The Link to Student Learning Outcomes

 

Within the proposed model, as faculty members reflect on their activities over the past six years and set future professional development goals, they could link these future plans for self improvement to areas identified at the college and departmental levels as needing improvement in relation to student learning outcomes. So, for example, in response to an identified college-wide need to focus more attention on the development of critical thinking competencies, a faculty member might elect to research critical thinking pedagogies in relation to his or her academic field, to attend a conference on critical thinking and individual learning styles, to develop a new critical thinking module for courses in his discipline, or to design and conduct a workshop for professional development credit on the topic for other faculty and staff. Or, in response to an assessed need to strengthen “computational competencies” among students in the sciences, a biology instructor might set professional development goals that involve building more math problems into homework assignments, revising course outlines to include more computational content, or devoting some professional development hours to service in the college’s math tutorial lab. Linking professional development goals to assessed institution-wide and departmental student learning outcome needs would enable individual faculty members to make a positive contribution to the on-going improvement of student learning.

 

 

The Self-Evaluation Report

 

Within the proposed model of “self-assessment,” each faculty member might submit a “Professional Activity and Growth Report” to the peer evaluation committee. This report could provide an overview of the faculty member’s professional development activities and service to the department and college community since the last comprehensive evaluation. It could also include new professional development goals and action plans that reflect assessed needs relative to campus wide and departmental student learning outcomes. The report’s content might look something like this:

 

 

 

 

Faculty Self-Assessment Report

 

 

I. Professional Achievements

 

This section summarizes the faculty member’s activities in response to goals established in the last comprehensive evaluation, including notation of significant achievements and recognitions.

 

II. Institutional Service

 

This section documents the extent of the faculty member’s engagement in the following types of college/district and departmental service:

 

A. Service to the College/District (college/district-wide standing committees, accreditation, etc.)

B. Service to the Department (departmental committees, Title 5 updates, etc.)

C. Service to campus community at large (sponsoring clubs, special events, etc.)

 

 

III. Professional Development Activities

 

This section documents the extent of the faculty member’s engagement in the following types of professional development activities:

 

A. Conferences Attended

B. Continuing Education

C. Independent Research and Reading

D. Conference/Workshop Presentations or Papers

E. Professional Organizations

F. Other Activities

 

 

IV. Professional Development Goals

 

In this section, the faculty member establishes a set of personal professional development goals, each of which may be linked to educational master plan and/or departmental program review goals (expanding access, enhancing student success, increasing transfer or vocational certifications, etc.) and to one or more assessed institutional “weaknesses” relative to student learning outcomes. These goals would include action plans and timelines for their fulfillment over the coming six-year period.

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