The University of Notre Dame has maintained a long-standing commitment to discover, implement, and refine methods for the evaluation, mentoring, and improvement of teaching practices among its faculty.
Our current practices for the evaluation of teaching quality and effectiveness were conceived in 2006 when the Advisory Committee to the Provost on the Evaluation of Teaching (ACPET) began to develop a multifaceted framework to operationalize teaching effectiveness for the purpose of determining a faculty member’s qualifications for renewal, tenure, and/or promotion. These ACPET Guidelines were put into force in the Fall of 2009 and called for an analysis of course design and implementation, the faculty member’s evaluation of student work, and student perceptions of teaching quality. Current practices related to the collection and analysis of student perceptions of teaching came into force in 2008 when Notre Dame transitioned from the previous Teacher Course Evaluation (TCE) system to the Course Instructor Feedback (CIF) system for all courses.
As a University, we have now had sufficient experience with both the ACPET Guidelines and the CIF instrument to be able to carry out a careful review of both tools to ensure that they continue to serve our commitment to provide a world-class educational experience for our undergraduate and graduate students. Hence, in September 2015 Provost Thomas Burish formed the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Teaching and charged it with reviewing the procedures and instruments used to support the evaluation and mentoring of teaching at Notre Dame.
The provost’s charge was intentionally broad as he encouraged the committee to consider the relationship between the ACPET Guidelines and pedagogy, the forms and nature of the peer review of teaching, the CIF instrument, and best practices for the evaluation of teaching.