W. Muirhead1, B. Hamilton2, A. Wright2, J. Mighty3, J. Scott4

1University of Ontario Institute of Technology (CANADA)
2University of Windsor (CANADA)
3Carleton University (CANADA)
4Queen’s University (CANADA)
In 2012, the Auditor General of Ontario undertook an audit intended to assess the “extent to which the Ministry and selected Ontario universities support, assess, and periodically report meaningful performance information on the quality of instruction provided to undergraduate students”. The results indicated that while all Ontario institutions gather student ratings of instruction (SRI), the nature, methods, and use of these data vary considerably among institutions, informed by disparate labour agreements, policy contexts, and institutional cultures. In response to the variation across the university system, a feasibility study was undertaken to develop a framework for an improvement-oriented formative and summative assessment of teaching in Ontario and to offer a well-contextualized understanding of what the goals of teaching evaluation ought to be.

The study was guided by the following questions; what was the case for producing a standard customizable suite of tools for the evaluation and improvement of teaching in Ontario Universities? What kind of teaching evaluation tools were most likely to facilitate the efficient, effective improvement of teaching in Ontario, and the engagement of faculty and administrators in teaching improvement? What were the basic requirements and technical specifications of such a system based on identified needs, the current regulatory climate, and identified best practices?

This presentation will report on this multi-institutional study regarding:
a) effective teaching evaluation practices
b) the importance of multi-faceted approaches using multiple types of data
c) the effective processes for gathering and evaluating SRI data that are integrated into evaluation and instructional 
improvement programs
d) the processes for establishing and implementing a provincial teaching evaluation system
e) the requirement for and importance of effective communications and dialogue to engagement of key stakeholders across diverse postsecondary institutions and
f) the conceptual design for a set of customizable tools for individual institutions.

Finally, this presentation will report on recommendations arising from this feasibility study including the establishment of a teaching evaluation consortium in Ontario to promote effective teaching evaluation including policies, practices, and principles as well as leadership for research and tool development.