Penn State College of Engineering Penn State College of Engineering

Office of Human Resources

101 Hammond Building
Phone: 814-865-7530
Fax: 814-865-8767

Faculty Resources

Promotion and Tenure - I. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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This section is described by Orange divider card. It must be paginated A-1, A-2, A-3, etc.

  1. The SRTE teaching evaluations should be in reverse chronological order with the most recent date listed first.
  2. For candidates with fewer than six years of total service, all available student evaluation data should be included in the dossier. For candidates with six or more years of service, all data from only the most recent five years should be included.
  3. More than one form of teaching evaluation must be included in the dossier. Examples of other evaluations include:
    1. Summary of exit Interviews - documented and quantified.
    2. Local (departmental or campus) surveys.
    3. Summary of formal interviews.
    4. Summary of written student evaluations.
  4. Make quantitative results absolutely clear, simple, and direct.
    1. For SRTE, use this form; do not indicate department or college average or any form of relative performance.
    2. For other than SRTE:
      1. Relate to department/College averages and indicate relative performance.
      2. Clearly indicate maximum score possible.
      3. Do not try to convert between different scales on different forms.
  5. If student comments from such sources as student evaluations, formal interviews, or exit surveys are reviewed, the findings should be presented by a summary statement that conveys the students' sense of strengths and weaknesses.
  6. Information from the individual under review: This category of information can be satisfied by a narrative statement in which the faculty member reflects on his or her teaching philosophy or goals, and/or by the submission of teaching portfolios that provide faculty with the forum to place their work in context, much as faculty share their programs of research and creative activity, in order to facilitate peer review.

    The formation of a teaching portfolio allows the individual faculty member to:
    1. Explain the nature of the various teaching tasks assigned and undertaken.
    2. Describe the means chosen to achieve those goals.
    3. Provide evidence that the goals have been achieved.
    4. State how one intends to teach more effectively in the future.
    5. Write a statement about teaching philosophy.
  7. Faculty members are free to include whatever evidence they may choose that displays how they go about teaching and what philosophy of teaching motivates their pedagogical decisions.
  8. All material in a teaching portfolio supplied by the faculty member is not included in the dossier, but rather should be included in the supplementary material retained at the department level, as are copies of research publications and examples of creative activity. It is assumed that, as with the case of supplementary materials for research, such supplementary teaching materials would be reviewed by evaluating committees and administrators prior to the college level, and that they would be available upon request at the college and university levels.

Peer Evaluations

Peer evaluations of teaching are required and should be obtained in an objective and unbiased manner. They should include classroom observations. The evaluators are not a matter of personal choice of the candidate. Actual signed individual peer teaching reviews, not just a summary, are required.

Peer teaching evaluations must be conducted regularly and frequently (not only for promotion and tenure purposes) and reported in the dossier. At least one peer review should be conducted for each assistant and associate professor in the College of Engineering each semester.

Peer evaluations of teaching, internal letters about teaching effectiveness, and statements from administrators attesting to teaching and advising effectiveness, belong in this section (Orange Divider Card). Five (5) years of peer reviews should be included in the dossier.

Peer evaluations are considered part of the factual information in the dossier. Therefore, they must be included in the candidate's review of the dossier prior to the beginning of the process.

Department Promotion & Tenure Committee's Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness

It is the responsibility of the departmental peer review committee to make a judgment of the candidate's teaching effectiveness based on both peer and student reviews in terms of the classification: excellent, very good, good, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory. Reviewers should understand that unsatisfactory carries a negative connotation; satisfactory conveys a neutral evaluation; good and very good, a positive evaluation; and excellent, a highly positive evaluation. The peer review committee must provide appropriate documentation for its judgment. (Administrative Guidelines, Appendix A., section C., Review Committee Reports)