AA/PPS 02.03.20 - Maintenance and Improvement of Quality in Teaching
Maintenance and Improvement of Quality in Teaching
AA/PPS No. 02.03.20
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 11/19/2019
Next Review Date: 9/01/2023 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Provost
- Because teaching is the most fundamental responsibility of the faculty at Texas State University, the university must assure that the highest teaching standards are maintained. This policy statement describes some of the means by which Texas State promotes those standards. Teaching quality is integral for ensuring the success of all students and reinforces the university’s shared value of teaching and learning based on research, student involvement, and the free exchange of ideas in a supportive environment. Maintaining high standards and assessing teaching performance reflects the university’s commitment to quality academic programming, responsible stewardship of resources, and continued evaluation for improvement.
AWARDS FOR HIGH QUALITY IN TEACHING
Each year, the university presents Awards for Excellence in Teaching. These awards are described in AA/PPS No. 02.04.20, Presidential Awards for Excellence In Teaching, Scholarly/Creative Activity, Service, and Presidential Seminar. Recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching may elect to be considered by the president to be university nominees for the Texas State University System (TSUS) Regents’ Teacher Award, provided they have at least five consecutive years of full-time teaching experience at Texas State. According to the TSUS Regents’ Teacher Award Guidelines and Criteria, “The purpose of the TSUS Regents’ Teacher Award is to honor exceptional instructors at TSUS component institutions. The focus of the program is to reward outstanding performance in their role as teachers…, as evidenced by their dedication, skill and knowledge of curriculum.”
Faculty members at Texas State are eligible to apply for the Piper Professor Award, which is presented to outstanding teachers in Texas colleges and universities. The Piper Professor Award is described in AA/PPS No. 02.04.21, Piper Professor Award Recognition.
A Part-Time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award is annually presented in each academic college. The Faculty Senate annually distributes a call for nominations for this award. The Part-Time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award is described in the Faculty Senate policy.
An Award for Excellence in Online Teaching is administered by the Distance and Extended Learning Steering Committee, which annually distributes a call for nominations for this award.
PROCEDURES FOR EVALUATION OF TEACHING
Teaching is a significant factor in all faculty evaluation processes. This evaluation is intended to benefit the faculty member and improve faculty performance. Texas State requires departments and schools to evaluate their faculty members at least once annually to provide guidance for meaningful faculty development; to identify, reinforce, and share the strengths of faculty; and to identify opportunities for strengthening the role and contributions of faculty members in their academic units. AA/PPS No. 04.02.10, Performance Evaluation of Continuing Faculty and Post-Tenure Review, and AA/PPS No. 04.02.11, Performance Evaluation of Non-Continuing Non-Tenure Line Faculty, require the annual evaluation of faculty. Specific procedures and expectations for annual evaluation are determined by department, school, and college-level policies.
Teaching evaluation also provides information that may be used in tenure and promotion recommendations, the awarding of merit raises, and decisions regarding the retention of faculty.
The university requires that instructors be routinely evaluated by their students as detailed in AA/PPS No. 02.03.01, Conduct and Planning of Courses. The method and frequency of evaluations are determined by the instructor’s department, school, and college. A common department, school, and college end-of-course student evaluation is administered in undergraduate and graduate courses to derive student perceptions of instruction. In compliance with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), Chapter 4, Subchapter N, Rules 4.225-4.229 concerning public access to course information, a common university-wide, end-of-course Student Perceptions of Instruction survey is administered for each organized undergraduate class.
INSTRUCTION IN TEACHING
Faculty Development and other offices at the university offer workshops and other programming to advance faculty in the areas of teaching and learning. All faculty members are encouraged to participate in these programs as well as those offered through professional conferences and other external entities.
There is a strongly asserted expectation that first-year tenure-track faculty members participate in the Scholarship and Teaching Excellence Program sponsored by Faculty Development.
In order to meet national best practices and standards promulgated by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the THECB, faculty members who teach distance education courses are required to complete a:
professional development program or alternative certification approved by the Distance and Extended Learning Steering Committee prior to teaching at a distance; and
self-assessment of assigned distance courses every three years using the university’s Best Practices Checklist rubric.
The Office of Distance and Extended Learning develops and implements the professional development program for distance learning instruction and also implements the Best Practices Checklist process.
REVIEWER OF THIS PPS
Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:
Position Date Associate Provost September 1 E4Y
This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Associate Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs