Project Background Project Committee Project Endorsements

Project Background

1967 PhotoDr. Arreola at Great Basin College, August, 2007

The GBC Administrative and Faculty Evaluation Committee have worked together for the past two years to determine the best approach for developing a valid, reliable and consistent faculty evaluation system. Three recurring questions were the focus of continuing discussion:

  1. Does our system acknowledge the vast range and full complexity of the duties and responsibilities of the college instructor?
  2. Should faculty evaluation be integrated with a professional enrichment program? How can we change the view of the evaluation process from a negative perspective to a positive experience where faculty are acknowledged for their vast array of skills and supported in enriching needed areas of improvement?
  3. Is our present GBC Student Rating Form valid and/or reliable?

With these and other questions left unanswered, the committee recommended that a representative from the Evaluation Committee and the Vice President of Academic Affairs attend an evaluation conference to learn more about the process. In March of 2007, Dr. Mike McFarlane and Lynette Macfarlan, Committee Co-Chair, flew to Florida to attend Dr. Raoul Arreola's Evaluation Conference entitled, Developing a Comprehensive Faculty Evaluation System. An eight-step system was introduced as a guide for designing, building and operating a successful faculty evaluation system. With full administrative support, Dr. Arreola was brought to Great Basin College to present an in-service training. Based on the level of research supporting Dr. Arreola's presentation content, the entire faculty agreed to move forward with the monumental task of restructuring the present GBC Evaluation system. Dr. Arreola's extensive knowledge-based research, coupled with his expert delivery of information, assisted our committee in answering our own questions.

  1. Our present system did not adequately acknowledge the vast range and complexity of the duties and responsibilities of the college instructor. Our present system lacked a shared value system and full faculty involvement in the development of the evaluation process.
  2. Faculty engage in a variety of activities necessary for the successful achievement of the mission and goals of their department and institution as well as their personal professional goals and objectives. These activities may require not only expertise in a given content area but also skills and expertise in a host of other sophisticated psychological, technical, organization, and group processes that are not necessarily related to their content field. Thus, the profession of college teacher or college profession is seen as a meta-profession: a profession that assumes content expertise as a foundation but requires professional-level performance in areas outside a faculty member's recognized area of expertise. In short, college faculty are expected to assume a variety of roles and to perform at a high professional level in each role. (Arreola xix)

  3. It is imperative that the faculty evaluation system be linked to Faculty Enrichment.
  4. It should be noted that faculty evaluation and professional enrichment are really two sides of the same coin. Ideally, faculty evaluation programs and professional enrichment programs should work hand-in-hand. If some aspect of faculty performance is to be evaluated, then there should exist resources or opportunities that enable faculty to gain or enhance their skills necessary for that performance. For maximal self-improvement effect, faculty evaluation systems must be linked to professional enrichment programs. A successful faculty evaluation system must provide 1) meaningful feedback information to guide professional growth and enrichment and 2) evaluative information on which to base personnel decisions. (Arreola xxii)

  5. In order for the GBC Student Rating Form to be considered an integral component of the overall evaluation system, it must be reliable and valid.

Easily the largest and most visible component of a faculty evaluation system is the student rating form and its computerized output. Over the years, for good or ill, student ratings have come to be the single most heavily weighted component of faculty evaluation systems. In response, many institutions have developed their own student rating forms, generally designed either by faculty, students, administrators, or a committee made up of some combination of these. Experience has shown that in the majority of cases these student rating forms have not been constructed in accordance with professional psychometric principles and standards. Thus, the forms may be of inadequate, or at least indeterminate, reliability and/or validity. The use of these forms may pose a legal liability for the institution. (Arreola 110)

The design and development of a valid, reliable form intended to measure the teaching performance of an instructor and/or the perceived effectiveness of a course, is a technical task requiring professional expertise in statistics and psychological measurement. (Arreola 110)

The GBC Administration and the Evaluation Committee researched two professionally developed student rating forms. After several conversations with the agency representatives and a detailed comparison conducted by the Evaluation Committee, it was decided to pilot the IDEA student rating form campus-wide for the fall 2007 semester. The on-line version will be piloted by 10 instructors until the process has been solidified. Click here for additional information regarding the IDEA student rating form, professional enrichment papers and information regarding nationally normed/statistical reports.

The Faculty Evaluation Process at GBC is based on the work of Dr. Raoul Arreola, specifically Developing a Comprehensive Faculty Evaluation System: A Guide to Designing, Building, and Operating Large-Scale Faculty Evaluation Systems, 3rd Edition, ISBN: 978-1-933371-11-5, copyright ©2007, Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 563 Main Street, P.O. Box 249, Bolton, MA 01740-0249. Forms used on this website are taken from that guide with the permission of the author and may not be further reproduced without his permission.