Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

AFT - Article X: Improvement of Teaching

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The College community wishes to encourage professional interaction which will enhance the art of teaching and foster student learning.

Teaching faculty will prepare a teaching portfolio which may be assessed for the purpose of improvement of teaching.  The teaching portfolio is the official file of materials developed and retained by faculty members to represent their professional qualifications and performance effectiveness.

Non-tenured faculty will prepare a portfolio to be used as one instrument for formative evaluation.  The contents of the portfolio may also be evaluated in a summative assessment for the granting of tenure.

Tenured faculty will prepare and update the teaching portfolio to be assessed only for the improvement of teaching; it may not be used as the basis for termination.  Faculty who wish to apply for promotion shall use this portfolio and written assessments as part of the promotion application.

REVIEW OF ASSESSMENT RESULTS

Tenured faculty will select two people, one of whom should be from the same discipline (if possible), to assess the portfolio.  The two people will submit signed copies of their individual assessments and, if appropriate, recommendations for the improvement of teaching to the preparer of the portfolio.  A second copy of the assessments will be forwarded to the appropriate academic administrator who may wish to review the portfolio.  The faculty member being reviewed may also submit responses to the assessments of the two reviewers to the same administrator.  For both tenured and non-tenured faculty the assessment will be forwarded, along with the portfolio, reviewers comments, and any response to the reviewers, to the appropriate administrator. The portfolio shall be returned to the faculty member within sixty (60) days.

For non-tenured faculty a committee of three people will be selected from within the department, one person will be chosen by the faculty member and two will be selected by the department, to assess the portfolio.  This committee will assess the instructor's knowledge of the discipline; teaching effectiveness; implementation of department goals and objectives; course materials; and methods of student assessment.  The committee will submit signed copies of their individual assessments and, if appropriate, recommendations for the improvement of teaching to the preparer and may be subject to peer visits during the next three years.  The committee will submit a summary of its assessment and the portfolio to the appropriate academic administrator.  The non-tenured faculty member may also submit a written response to the assessment of the committee to the same academic administrator.

FREQUENCY

New faculty are reviewed during the first semester of employment, i.e., have peer visitation and the survey of student opinion completed.

Non-tenured faculty are reviewed annually.

Tenured faculty are reviewed every fourth year, approximately one-fourth of the faculty each year. Tenured faculty on sabbatical or leave from the college will automatically utilize the next academic year to complete their portfolio and continue their portfolios on a four-year cycle.

DEVELOPING A TEACHING PORTFOLIO

Required Items to be included in a teaching portfolio, include:

1. Academic Resume - Where you have studied, where you have taught, all courses you have taught, and any other educational experiences.

2. One course outline - including departmental syllabus and course objectives.  Include an explanation of how and why your course outline has changed over recent years. The explanation should not exceed three pages.

3. Sample Assignments - An explanation of how and why the assignments were chosen is optional.  The explanation should not exceed three pages.

4. Sample of laboratory assignments/projects (if applicable).  An explanation of how and why the lab assignments were chosen is optional.  The explanation should not exceed two pages.

5. Samples of examinations and/or writing assignments should include a statement listing the objectives being tested and/or the objectives of the writing assignment.         

This could be a rather extensive collection in some cases.  The faculty shall have the option of selecting items 2 through 5 for ONE unit of a particular course. The student survey should also be given at the end of that unit. 

6. Summary of student survey - A discussion of the results of the student survey.

7. Evidence of professional growth since the last portfolio - Suggestions include:  membership in any   professional organizations, subscriptions to professional journals, summary of articles read from professional journals, articles submitted and/or accepted for publication, attendance at professional workshops and conventions, etc.  Included should be any activity that the instructor perceives as enhancing her/his ability to improve classroom teaching.

8. Submit written assessments from reviewers and comments from dean along with a statement as to how these areas were addressed since the last portfolio.

9. Information on involvement with class, course, program, and general education assessment.

10. Information related to enhancing equity and diversity.

11. Service to the College and/or community - Any activities within the College and externally to the College that could serve to improve teaching. Particular emphasis should be given to those activities that are directly related to the teaching of an individual's discipline or promotion of the Community College mission.

12. Statement of anticipated, future professional growth activities and/or goals.

Optional Items in a teaching portfolio may include, but not limited to:

1. Sample of handouts - An optional paragraph or two on how and why these handouts were designed and why they were necessary.

2. Samples of unsolicited student letters and comments - Included could be comments submitted by students upon graduation.

3. Peer/professional observation and evaluation - Any comments made by a peer visitor to the classroom could be included.  An instructor may submit a videotape of a lecture(s) in lieu of or in addition to a classroom visit by a peer.  (This item may be required of non-tenured faculty).

 

                                                                       SURVEY OF STUDENT OPINION (A)

Instructions to the Student:  The purpose of this questionnaire is to provide student feedback to your instructor regarding specific classroom/teaching behaviors which you have observed or experienced.  Please respond to each statement as objectively and honestly as you can.  Try to rate each behavior independently rather than letting your overall impression of the instructor determine each item.  Your thoughtful and candid responses will be helpful to your instructor.

 

ALMOST                ALMOST
NEVER                  ALWAYS

 

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     1.  Defines new or unfamiliar terms.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     2.  Answers students' questions thoroughly.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     3.  Explains important concepts by using techniques like the
                                                          chalkboard, over-head screen, demonstration, handouts,
                                                          or other methods.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     4. Explains subject matter and assignments in familiar,
                                                          understandable language.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     5. Teaches without reading too much from the book or from notes.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     6. Encourages students' questions and comments during class.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     7. Responds to student errors constructively.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     8. Recognizes students for good ideas.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     9. Presents questions to stimulate discussion.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     10. Presents challenging ideas and assignments.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     11. Uses a variety of activities in class.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     12. Indicates transition from one topic to the next.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     13. Gives an overview of the material to be covered.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     14. Explains how topics taught fit into the class.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     15. Stays on the major point or points of the lecture or topic
                                                            to be discussed.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     16. Asks if students understand before proceeding to the next topic.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     17. States the objectives of each unit and of the course.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     18. Tells students what areas will be covered on tests.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     19. Tells students what is expected of them on assignments.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     20. Informs students of test dates or assignment deadlines.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     21. Speaks clearly.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     22. Shows respect for students.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     23. Available outside the classroom for individual discussions
                                                            with students.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     24. Offers to help students solve academic problems or suggest
                                                            possible ways students may get necessary assistance.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     25. Examinations and assignments are returned in a reasonable
                                                            period of time.

INSTRUCTOR-ADDED QUESTIONS:
1      2      3      4      5      N/A     26.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     27.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     28.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     29.

1      2      3      4      5      N/A     30.


                                                                      SURVEY OF STUDENT OPINION (B)

Instructions to the Student:  The purpose of this questionnaire is to provide student feedback to your instructor regarding specific classroom/teaching behaviors which you have observed or experienced.  Please write a short paragraph about each of the following.  Your thoughtful and candid responses will be helpful to your instructor.

1.     Your perceptions of the strengths of this course.  What particular teaching methods or assignments helped you to learn the content or the skills required in this course.




2.     Your perceptions of the weaknesses of this course.  What particular teaching methods or assignments were not helpful to you in learning?  Why not?




3.     Your opinion of the overall effectiveness of this course.  What suggestions, if any, do you have for helping the instructor to improve the teaching methods and assignments in this course?