Resources for Evaluation of Teaching

Evaluation of teaching effectiveness is important both as a formative tool that helps faculty reflect on and improve their teaching practice as well as a summative tool used for recognizing exceptional faculty, informing the tenure and promotion processes, and ensuring that we meet our institutional goals related to teaching and learning. 

Over-reliance on student evaluations of teaching has been found to have disproportionately negative outcomes for faculty from under-represented groups, including women and faculty of color. The following curated resources include alternative strategies for evaluating teaching and related support services provided by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

Services Provided by CITL to Support Evaluation of Teaching

  • Consultation with university and department committees in an advisory capacity on designing a holistic evaluation of teaching or implementation of specific techniques
  • Workshops for departments or colleges upon request on methods for evaluating teaching, such as:
    • Peer teaching observation
    • Providing feedback on teaching
    • Leading small group instructional diagnosis
    • Facilitating a microteaching community
    • Reflecting on your teaching
  • Confidential formative evaluation services for faculty seeking feedback on their teaching

Resources on Evaluation of Teaching

An extensive body of literature has demonstrated the bias evident in student evaluations of teaching and the limitations of their use to assess the quality of teaching. This list presents a few articles; contact the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning for additional references.

  • Chávez, K., & Mitchell, K. (2020). Exploring Bias in Student Evaluations: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity. PS: Political Science & Politics, 53(2), 270-274. doi:10.1017/S1049096519001744

    In a quasi-experimental design, faculty members teaching identical online courses recorded welcome videos that were included at the beginning of the course, which were the only exposure the students had to perceptions of gender and race/ethnicity for their faculty. On student evaluations, faculty who were female and persons of color received lower scores than those who were white males.

  • Fan, Y., Shepherd, L. J., Slavich, E., Waters, D., Stone, M., Abel, R., & Johnston, E. L. (2019). Gender and cultural bias in student evaluations: Why representation matters. PLOS ONE, 14(2). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209749

    An analysis of over 500,000 student evaluations of teaching collected over a seven year period at a leading Australian university found a significant negative effect on evaluation scores of women and faculty from non-English-speaking backgrounds, with the strongest effect for women from non-English-speaking backgrounds.

  • Kogan, V., Genetin, B., Chen, J., & Kalish, A. (2022). Students' grade satisfaction influences evaluations of teaching: Evidence from individual-level data and an experimental intervention. (EdWorkingPaper: 22-513). doi: 10.26300/spsf-tc23

    The level of satisfaction a student has with the grade they expect to receive, regardless of the underlying cause for that grade, has an impact on the scores they assign on a teaching evaluation that cannot be explained by instructional quality, workload, grading stringency, or student sorting into courses.

  • Esarey, J., & Valdes, N. (2020). Unbiased, reliable, and valid student evaluations can still be unfair. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 45(8), 1106-1120, doi: 10.1080/02602938.2020.1724875

    Using a computational simulation to generate thousands of student evaluations of teaching for fictional faculty, the authors demonstrate that even under ideal, unbiased conditions, evaluations of teaching can produce an unacceptably high error rate due to imprecision in the relationship between evaluation scores and instructional quality.

As an institutional member of the Online Learning Consortium, NIU faculty and staff have access to use the Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) Scorecard. (QCTIP) is a comprehensive scorecard which can be used for an in-depth review to validate instructional practices.

Designed to evaluate the overall classroom experience, this tool can be used to evaluate teaching effectiveness in several areas, including: Course Fundamentals, Learning Foundations, Faculty Engagement and Student Engagement.

The QCTIP scorecard can be used as a comprehensive overview of the online course environment and is available for free.

Download QCTIP

The QCTIP can also be used independently in several different areas:

QCTIP: Course Fundamentals: Use this scorecard to evaluate quality in course design. ensure an effective classroom experience before the session starts and for post-course evaluation. Download PDF

QCTIP: Learning Foundations: Use this scorecard to ensure that key quality learning components are incorporated in the digital course to create an effective learning environment for students. Download PDF

QCTIP: Faculty Engagement: Use this scorecard to evaluate areas like course learning outcomes, course content, and assignments and the critical steps that should be taken to improve the student learning experience. Download PDF

QCTIP: Student Engagement: Use this scorecard to ensure a quality learning experience for your students by following the identified steps required to create an engaging and effective classroom environment. Download PDF

Additional Information or Resources

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning staff are available for consultations on strategies for teaching and can be reached at 815-753-0595 or

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-753-0595

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