This FAQ is primarily for Philosophy, Religion, and Humanities faculty, but
includes some information that may be useful to all faculty. If you have
questions about the implementation of Faculty Evaluation in your discipline,
contact your program leadership or your dean. If you have questions about the
Philosophy department's implementation or if your question isn't answered here,
you are welcome to
Click on a question to open the answer.
- How was my portfolio level or year assignment determined?
- The portfolio policy distinguishes two sets of faculty: (1) those with
three or fewer years of service and (2) those with more than three years of
- Faculty in group (1) submit a first-, second-, or third-year
portfolio, based on calendar years of service.
- Faculty in group (2) submit a third-year portfolio in the evaluation
cycle assigned and every three years thereafter. Because we wanted to
spread out the workload for faculty and evaluators, we randomly assigned
one-third of the faculty in each program to each of the next three
evaluation cycles (2002, 2003, or 2004).
- What does my year assignment mean?
- Each faculty member in A&H who has more than three years of service at
ACC was randomly assigned an evaluation cycle in order to implement the
portfolio system. Your year assignment represents the academic year in which
you must submit a third-year portfolio. For instance, if your assignment is
2003, then you will submit a portfolio on November 1 of the 2002-2003
academic year. Because we are implementing this new system, the deadline for
this year has been extended to December 7, 2001. (This extension applies
only to A&H faculty.)
- Will someone remind me to submit a portfolio in two years, or do I have
to try to remember?
- Each year, the dean will notify all A&H faculty of their current
portfolio levels and due dates. Even so, since your portfolio could include
material from the three previous years, it makes sense to collect the
required materials as you go.
- Why am I required to submit the portfolio level indicated in my memo
from my department chair?
- According to the portfolio guidelines, if you have three or fewer years
of service, then you must submit a first-, second-, or third-year portfolio.
Because the portfolio system is based on calendar years of service at ACC,
the assignment of a portfolio level is based on your hire date. For
instance, if you were hired in August, 2001, then you are now in your first
year, so you must submit a first-year portfolio. Similarly, if you were
hired in August, 2000, then you are now in your second year, so you must
submit a second-year portfolio. We based portfolio assignments on a hire
date baseline of January 1. For instance, if you were hired before
January 1, 2001, you must submit a second-year portfolio this year, but if you were
hired after January 1, 2001, you must submit a first-year portfolio
- My portfolio level doesn't match my longevity at ACC. Is this a
- This is only an administrative issue. Your longevity is based on
how many semesters you have taught at ACC, not on calendar years. You
can actually earn longevity at a rate different from the passage of calendar
years (depending on how many semesters you teach in any given year). The
portfolio system, however, is based on calendar years. For
this reason, your portfolio level assignment is based on your hire date.
(see Why am I required to submit this portfolio level?)
- What is the evaluation period for portfolios?
- The evaluation period for the first-, second-, and third-year portfolios
is fairly straightforward: these portfolios are cumulative, so materials are drawn from
your first, second, and
third years of service at ACC. (If you are in your first
semester of service, this may pose a challenge. Contact your program
coordinator for additional guidance.)
- For faculty who have more then three years of service, the portfolio is
submitted every three years. The third-year portfolio covers the three
previous academic years. (For this purpose, summer semesters belong to the previous
academic year, e.g., summer of 2001 is part of the 2000-2001 academic year.)
For instance, if your third-year portfolio is due in the current cycle (2001-2002), it
will cover the following academic years: 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000-01
(through the summer of 2001)..
- If I don't have to submit a portfolio this year, do I have to do any
other faculty evaluation activities this year?
- All faculty are evaluated every year, even though (after the first three
years) portfolios are only required every three years. You will still do
student evaluations according to the schedule published by the Faculty
Evaluation Office, and you are still required to complete the online Faculty
Input Form. For details, see the
on the Faculty Evaluation website, especially Section III, "Faculty
- The portfolio guidelines are unclear. Do I submit every syllabus, exam,
etc., from every course I've taught during the evaluation period?
- The guidelines are susceptible of a variety of interpretations, and in
general it is the responsibility of the dean and program leadership to notify you of their
interpretation and expectations. Note that programs and task forces are given leeway to require
additional items, so long as their evaluation plans are approved by the
dean. Some programs are interpreting the guidelines differently, and in some
cases programs have additional
requirements of faculty. If you have a question that isn't addressed here,
contact me, your
program coordinator, or the dean's office.
- In the description of the second-year portfolio, "first-year portfolio" does
not mean that you must re-submit your first-year portfolio again. Rather,
this ambiguous phrase refers to the description of the contents of
the first-year portfolio, namely, a syllabus for each course taught, major
assignments, tests, projects, etc. Similarly, the phrase "second-year
portfolio" in the description of the third-year portfolio means the
description of the contents and not the actual portfolio submitted the year
- In the PHIL/RELG/HUMA program, I am interpreting the guidelines
- Syllabi: Submit one syllabus representative of each
course number you have taught (not each section/course) during
the evaluation period. For instance, if you taught five sections of
PHIL1301 during the entire evaluation period, you would nevertheless
submit one PHIL1301 syllabus. Distance learning courses are assumed
to be different enough from "traditional" courses that they are counted as
distinct course numbers. For instance, if you taught one or more sections
of HUMA1301 and one or more sections of HUMA1301PCM, then you should
submit one syllabus for HUMA1301 and one syllabus for
- Instructional materials: Instructions for instructional
materials (exams, major assignments, handouts, etc.) are similar to those
for syllabi. You should submit representative samples of your
instructional materials for for each course number you taught
during the evaluation period. Recall that the purpose of the portfolio is
to assess teaching effectiveness. For this reason, your teaching materials
should be representative of your courses and your teaching philosophy, and
should therefore include a range of items such as exams, major
assignments, or handouts. As above, distance learning courses will be
treated as separate course numbers.
- I don't use handouts in my courses. Will I be penalized?
- The essential point of this question concerns the approach to
instructional materials submitted as part of an evaluative system. My
approach is to assess the effectiveness of instructional materials in terms
of (1) clarity and organization and (2) appropriateness to the
pursuit of departmental and individual course outcomes.
- The mere lack of a particular type of instructional materials is not
grounds for "losing points" on the evaluation. As noted above, the purpose
of the portfolio is a summative assessment of teaching effectiveness. If you
are reflective about your course construction, your choice of types of
assignments is motivated by your teaching philosophy and what you are trying
to accomplish (outcomes), and that motivation should be evident in your
- Significant mismatch of teaching materials, on the one hand, and
teaching philosophy, departmentally defined course outcomes, or the
college's mission constitutes grounds for "losing points."
- What is the statement of teaching philosophy and the course commentary?
How will they be evaluated?
- In general terms, your statement of teaching philosophy should
articulate your guiding principles as a teacher and explain why those
principles are significant in the conduct of your classes. (See the
description in the
Portfolio Procedures published by Faculty Evaluation.) Since there is
room for legitimate disagreement about teaching philosophy, this item cannot
be evaluated according to some independent standard of correctness. I
consider the statement as a reflective exercise that gives each of us an
opportunity to step back and think about teaching and to articulate the
principles and values that guide our practice.
- Nevertheless, the college and our department have legitimate interests
in certain issues regarding teaching philosophy, and your statement will be
evaluated as an element in teaching effectiveness. In the PHIL/RELG/HUMA
department, the rating for the statement of teaching philosophy will be
based on two criteria:
- the degree to which the principles and values articulated harmonize
with and support the missions of the college and of our department
- whether these principles and values are evident in the design of your
- I think that these criteria are sufficiently independent of the issue of
"correctness" of teaching philosophy that it is possible to evaluate the
statement without implying that any particular teaching philosophy is
"wrong" or misguided. I have always welcomed diversity of view and approach
in our department, but at the same time there is a legitimate need for some
minimum threshold of consensus regarding our mission and the purpose of our
- The statement of teaching philosophy is a global statement of guiding
principles and values. The Course Commentary, which is required in the
third-year portfolio, is an opportunity to discuss in greater detail the
implementation of one's teaching philosophy in a particular course. In this
commentary, you will choose a representative course and explain in some
detail how the principles and values you have articulated motivated your
choice of instructional modalities, types of assignments, evaluation/grading
This page was last updated
01/18/2005 08:23:41 PM