Developing Metrics for Assessing Engineering Instruction: What Gets Measured is What Gets Improved

Project Status
Completed
May 22, 2019
to
September
24
2010
Sponsor
National Science Foundation
Final Report
Developing Metrics for Assessing Engineering Instruction
Authoring InstitutionNational Academy of Engineering
Publication DateJanuary 01, 2009
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At-a-Glance
Study on the development and implementation of metrics for scholarly teaching or 'instructional scholarship' within the discipline of engineering
Objectives
  • A committee of experts conducted a study and generated a report on the development and implementation of metrics for scholarly teaching or 'instructional scholarship' within the discipline of engineering

A committee of experts conducted a study and generated a consensus report on the development and implementation of metrics for scholarly teaching or instructional scholarship within the discipline of engineering.

With NSF support (DRL-0633774), an ad hoc study committee, formed under the auspices of the NAE Committee on Engineering Education (CEE), pursued a study on the development and implementation of metrics for scholarly teaching or 'instructional scholarship' within the discipline of engineering. The committee sought to identify new options for evaluating scholarly teaching and to assess broadly the options identified in terms such as their validity, reliability, and ease-of-use by engineering faculty. The intent was to contribute to greater acceptance of instructional scholarship within engineering disciplines. The committee examined specific choices for the following: (1) metrics of the scholarship of teaching, (2) schemes for the evaluation of selected metrics, and (3) agent(s) who will evaluate the selected metrics. Each set of choices was made from a diversity of options; the culling process involved the development of process for evaluation of options within each of the set of choices to be made. The committee also sought the inputs of engineering faculty in the process of making choices.

In accordance to the policies of the National Academies, the fact finding and authorship of this report was led by a committee of experts appointed based on their experience and balancing of viewpoints. The balancing factors that were considered were: experience in administrative positions within institutions of higher education, experience and leadership in areas of faculty professional development, knowledge of promotion and tenure procedures, and educational research on assessment of faculty teaching effectiveness.

The charge to the committee was to provide administrators and faculty leaders with a concise and clear description of a pathway to developing and implementing a usable and valid system for evaluating faculty teaching effectiveness. The premise being that faculty (in all disciplines) must continually prioritize their time to reflect their many faculty obligations, and to balance those priorities in ways that will improve the prospects of career advancement. The development and use of valid and accepted means for assessing faculty teaching effectiveness will result in several valuable outcomes: provide faculty members with a well-understood and accepted set of attributes and behaviors with respect to effective teaching practice; provide information that can be used to improve teaching methods, and; allow for teaching assessments to assume a more meaningful role in promotion and tenure decisions.

The committee met for the first time in July 2007 to identify white paper authors for the topics of 1) options in choices of metrics, 2) options in scoring of metrics, 3) options of evaluation agent(s) for given metrics, and 4) faculty acceptance of potential metrics and their scoring. The committee members then organized and held a workshop in November 2007 that was attended by 25 invited participants who had demonstrated leadership in the areas of institutional administration, engineering education, faculty development, and teaching assessment. The workshop agenda addressed many aspects and methods of assessment of teaching effectiveness as well as opportunities/constraints of institutional administration. Based on the discussions of the workshop, the committee devised a report structure that would result in a report that met the charge by discussing the following issues with respect to developing and implementing a teaching effectiveness assessment program: Background, Framing and Concepts of the report Governing Principles of Good Metrics Key Committee Assumptions Regarding Assessment Attributes That Should be Measured How to Measure and Compute Teaching Performance. The report underwent the National Academies review process and was published in 2009.