Skip to content

Outstanding Teaching Framework





At the U, we recognize the need to evaluate the excellence of our teachers. The Teaching Excellence Working Group (TEWG) in partnership with the Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is leading a campus-wide initiative to explore, develop and adopt an Outstanding Teaching Framework to define, evaluate, and reward teaching excellence. We will be conducting work that is in alignment with our peer institutions in creating a common campus-wide approach to teaching assessment that is disciplinary adapted and enacted, and centrally supported. For many years we have relied too heavily on limited and partial sources of evidence to assess teaching excellence, mainly student feedback. It is proposed that CTE will provide centralized, multidimensional assessment tools to support the evaluation efforts of our faculty and administrators.

Strategy & Plan


August 2022
Formation of Teaching Excellence Task Force

Dr. Martell Teasley establishes a Teaching Excellence task force to develop a framework that the University of Utah can adopt. This will be chaired by Jim Agutter and comprised of faculty from across the institution, representing various teaching ranks. In addition, we will partner with the faculty office to ensure it fits with the RPT process and guidelines. Informational information sessions will be given to a wide range of groups across campus so that it widely known that the effort has begun.

Teaching Excellence Working Group Memo to Council of Academic Deans (CAD) and campus leaders

Teaching Excellence Working Group Members: Jim Agutter (chair), Anne Cook, Adam Halstrom, Staci McIntosh, Rob MacLeod, Brian Harris, Rachel Hayes, Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, Myra Washington, Rebecca Wilson, Holly Godsey, Sneha Kasera, Hollis Robbins, Emma Houston, Pablo Plantino 

Fall 2022
Development of Framework

Utilizing best practices and working with our partner institutions, such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, we will prepare a draft of a framework that can be modified, adapted, and aligned with University of Utah goals. This includes inviting Dr. Noah Finkelstein from the University of Colorado to visit Utah and lead the task force through UofC's work and how it can work here.

Late 2022
Technology Support

We will need to work with OA&A, CTE, OBIA, and UIT (USS) to develop a system to systematically collect this information and bring it together into meaningful reports. We can leverage the existing infrastructure of the student feedback forms to capture the student's voice. We will have to create some surveys with Likert scales that will be distributed to faculty and peer reviewers.

Spring 2023
Town Halls & Info Sessions

The task force would put together a series of town hall meetings for faculty and others to give feedback on the proposed framework so we could have substantial faculty input. This would include information discussions with Deans and other leaders on campus. The results would be consolidated, and adjustments would be made to the framework.

Teaching Effectiveness Framework Feed Back Sessions

2 March 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

15 March 21 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Spring 2023
Presentation to CAD

The task force would present the framework to CAD and the Academic Leadership Committee for review and adoption. Feedback would be integrated, and the framework would be adjusted accordingly.

Late Spring 2023
Faculty Senate Consideration
In order for the framework to be widely validated, supported, and utilized it will require feedback from the faculty senate. This step ensures that in addition to the town halls and other informal feedback sessions that we have a strong faculty support for this initiative.


Framework Overview

Outstanding Teaching Definition

The University of Utah defines teaching excellence across 5 different thematic areas. These areas with descriptions provide a common framework for course-based instructional activities.

  • Foster Development
  • Promote Deep Engagement
  • Incorporate Promising Teaching Practices
  • Utilize Assessment Practices
  • Pursue Ongoing Instructional Improvement

Components of the Outstanding Teaching Framework

A proposed Outstanding Teaching Framework encourages the use of at least three sources of evidence for teaching excellence:

Assessment Data from Multiple Sources

It is envisioned that CTE will provide materials, resources, and tools to support the collection and interpretation of data from all three sources.

Instructor Reflection
    • Standardized Instructor Reflection Template
    • Teaching Portfolios: teaching philosophy, description of efforts to improve or innovate, syllabi and class assignments, student work, evidence of research on teaching
Peer Review
    • Standardized Peer Observation Template
    • Evaluation of Course Materials: syllabi, assignments, assessments
    • Evaluation of Other Contributions: curriculum development, supervision of student research, mentoring, creation of instructional materials, published research on teaching
Student Feedback
    • Standardized End-of-term Student Feedback Template
    • Standardized Mid-semester Student Feedback Template
    • Focus Groups
    • Assessment of Learning Outcomes


Goals & Outcomes

  • Align campus-wide assessment practices with well-researched peer models using a multidimensional definition of effective teaching and multiple sources of evidence.
  • Improve synthesis and representation of assessment data at the individual, department, college, and university levels.
  • Promote, value, evaluate, and reward effective teaching and enhanced student learning.


Peer Models & References

American Sociological Association. (Sept. 2019). Statement on Student Evaluations of Teaching.

Association of American Universities. (April 2022). Teaching Evaluation.

Julianna Butler, et al. (Oct. 2021). Report of the Working Group on Student Course Feedback. University of Delaware.

Gabriela C. Weaver, Ann E. Austin, Andrea Follmer Greenhoot & Noah D. Finkelstein(2020),Establishing a Better Approach for Evaluating Teaching: The TEval Project,Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning,52:3,25-31,DOI: 10.1080/00091383.2020.1745575

Noah Finkelstein, Andrea Follmer Greenhoot, Gabriela Weaver & Ann E. Austin (2020). A Department-Level Cultural Change Project: Transforming the Evaluation of Teaching in Transforming Institutions: Accelerating Systemic Change in Higher Education.

Noah Finkelstein, Andrea Follmer Greenhoot, Gabriela Weaver & Ann E. Austin (2020) Transforming Teaching Evaluation in Disciplines: A Model and Case Study of Departmental Change in Transforming Institutions: Accelerating Systemic Change in Higher Education.

R. J. Kreitzer & J Sweet-Cushman (2021). Evaluating student evaluations of teaching: A review of measurement and equity bias in SETs and recommendations for ethical reform. Journal of Academic Ethics, 1-12.

S. L. Benton & W. E. Cashin (2014). Student ratings of instruction in college and university courses. In Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (pp. 279-326). Springer, Dordrecht.

S. L. Benton & S. Young (2018). Best Practices in the Evaluation of Teaching. IDEA Paper# 69. IDEA Center, Inc.

Shawn R. Simonson, Brittnee Earl & Megan Frary(2022)Establishing a Framework for Assessing Teaching Effectiveness,College Teaching,70:2,164-180,DOI: 10.1080/87567555.2021.1909528

Last Updated: 2/16/23