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Teaching Effectiveness Framework





Framework Overview

At the U, we recognize the need to evaluate the effectiveness of our teachers. The Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is leading a campus-wide initiative to implement a Teaching Effectiveness Framework to define, evaluate, and reward teaching excellence. We are joining our peer institutions in creating a common campus-wide approach to teaching assessment that is disciplinarily adapted and enacted, and centrally supported.

For many years we have relied too heavily on limited and partial sources of evidence to assess teaching effectiveness, mainly student feedback. Now, leveraging decades of scholarship, our Teaching Effectiveness Framework uses seven rubric dimensions and multiple sources of evidence to describe and identify effective teaching across all disciplines, levels, and modalities. Departments are encouraged to adapt the rubric to fit disciplinary expectations and to weight areas most meaningful to the discipline. CTE will provide centralized, multidimensional assessment tools to support the evaluation efforts of our faculty and administrators.

Rubric Dimensions

  • Class Climate
  • Mentorship & Advising
  • Goals, Content, Alignment
  • Teaching Service, Scholarship, or Community


  • Teaching Practices
  • Achievement of Learning Outcomes
  • Reflection and Iterative Growth

Teaching Effectiveness Alignment with E3 (Exceptional Educational Experience Framework)

TEF Alignment with E3

Components of the Teaching Effectiveness Framework

A University of Utah Teaching Effectiveness Framework Rubric includes seven key dimensions of effective teaching, guiding and clarifying questions for each of the seven dimensions, and defined expectations evaluated on a scale of Developing (1), Proficient (2), and Expert (3).

The Teaching Effectiveness Framework encourages the use of at least three sources of evidence for effective teaching:

Assessment Data from Multiple Sources

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

Departments are encouraged to use a Standardized Department Evaluation Template to review, assess, and report the teaching effectiveness of faculty and graduate students. The Department Evaluation Template will show the seven key dimensions of the Teaching Effectiveness Framework rubric which department weight to fit disciplinary expectations. Reviewers will identify which sources of evidence they reviewed for each dimensions and ratings will be based on the defined expectations.

Results from the Standardized Instructor Reflection, Peer Observation, Student Feedback, and Department Evaluation templates can be reported separately at the individual, department, college, and institutional levels.

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.


Strategy & Plan


August 2022
Formation of Teaching Effectiveness Task Force

We will request Dr. Martell Teasley establish a Teaching Effectiveness task force to develop a framework that the University of Utah can adopt. This would be chaired by Jim Agutter and comprised of faculty from across the institution, representing various teaching ranks. In addition, we would partner with the faculty office to ensure it fits with the RPT process and guidelines.

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 Fall 2022
Teaching Effectiveness Town Hall

The task force would put together two town hall meetings for faculty to give feedback on the proposed framework so we could have substantial faculty input. The results would be consolidated, and adjustments would be made to the framework if needed.

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
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 Adoption

The need for a formal approval process will depend on whether we intend to make using the framework voluntary or mandatory in formal reviews of teaching, including RPT. Mandatory adoption would likely require approval from the Faculty Senate or some other Administrative directive. Voluntary use of the framework may not require Senate approval, but may benefit from the Senate’s feedback and support.

Present to the Faculty Senate for adoption and establishment for the Fall 2023 semester.


Peer Models & References

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

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: 8/16/22