Multifaceted Evaluation of Teaching

"When teaching is viewed as professional knowledge there must be an accepted way to define characteristics of teaching excellence and to make judgments based on a stated set of criteria and standards that reflect the complexity of teaching" (Chism, 2007, p. 13).

Peer review is one way to address multifaceted evaluation of teaching. It can include not only peer observations, but also assessment of a teaching portfolio which could consist of curricula vitae, student evaluations, syllabi and other course artefacts, and reflections on teaching. There are two very different forms of peer review: formative and summative.

Formative evaluation is oriented solely towards the improvement of teaching and is part of instructional mentorship and development. CTL supports formative evaluation through our Peer Consultation Program.

Summative evaluation is typically tied to decisions related to reappointment, promotion, or tenure. If initiating a peer review process, it is important to be clear about the purpose and to have different peers involved in each form of assessment.

Read (CTL blog posts)

University of Alberta Kathryn Chandler

We Need to Talk About Teaching

January 17, 2018
Kathryn Chandler and Janice Miller-Young talk about some of the critical incidents which shaped how they approach teaching.


USRIs - What are they good for?

March 27, 2019
Neil Haave tackles all things USRI: their strengths, their pitfalls, and what they say (and don't say) about your courses.

Listen (podcasts)

Teaching PLUS

Teaching Observations

October 15, 2019
Teaching observations are a great way to get another set of eyes on your teaching. In this episode of Teaching+, Educational Developers Cosette Lemelin and Ellen Watson chat with Dr. Melissa Li Sheung about her recent teaching observation with the CTL.

Multifaceted Evaluation of Teaching

March 13, 2019
Assessing our teaching can be a sticky and sensitive task. We know that we will receive anonymous student evaluations (USRIs at UAlberta) each year, but is this enough to really show the level of teaching? The UAlberta policies indicate that we should be assessing students using a multifaceted approach an, increasingly, there is discussion about assessing teaching the same way, but what does that mean?

In this episode, we discuss a multifaceted approach to evaluating teaching with the help of Keith King and Vice Provost of Learning Initiatives, Sarah Forgie.

View (presentations)

Denise Chalmers

Recognizing and rewarding excellent teaching: yes it's hard and yes it can be done

August 19, 2019
Denise Chalmers, Professor Emeritus in the field of higher education teaching and learning at the University of Western Australia

This presentation will provide an overview of the work that is taking place in Australia on defining criteria and standards for excellence in teaching, research and service, and with the goal of making an impact on students' learning and engagement.

Richard Price

Achievements and Challenges of UBC's Peer Review of Teaching Initiative: A View from the Faculty of Arts

May 7, 2015
Richard Price, Professor of Political Science at University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia embarked upon a Peer Review of Teaching (PRT) Initiative in 2010. This talk describes the origins, process of implementation, and outcomes to date of the initiative, focusing on the challenges and opportunities in the large and diverse Faculty of Arts.


  • Palmer, M. S., Bach, D. J., & Streifer, A. C. (2014). Measuring the promise: A learning‐focused syllabus rubric. To Improve the Academy, 33(1), 14-36.
  • Smith, M.K., Jones, F.H.M., Gilbert, S.L., and Wieman, C.E. (2013). The classroom observation protocol for undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A new instrument to characterize university STEM classroom practices. Cell Biology Education-Life Sciences Education, 12 (Winter), 618-627. *also applicable in other contexts

Other Resources

  • Chism, N.V. (2007). Peer review of teaching: A sourcebook (2nd edition). Bolton MA: Anker Publications.
  • Boysen, G. A. (2016). Using student evaluations to improve teaching: Evidence-Based Recommendations. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2(4), 273-284.
  • Linse, A. R. (2017). Interpreting and using student ratings data: Guidance for faculty serving as administrators and on evaluation committees. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54, 94-106.
  • Haave, N. (2017). Assessing Teaching to Empower Learning. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 10, iii-x.