The SPOT guidelines document states, "Because numerous studies have indicated that both peer and student evaluations are necessary for the equitable evaluation of teaching effectiveness, it is strongly suggested that peer and student evaluations be given similar emphasis in personnel recommendations."
A variety of methods of peer evaluation are in use throughout the campus. There is no single instrument for peer evaluation, but typically faculty are requested to include in their review materials syllabi, course tests and examinations, statements about new courses developed, and results of student evaluations. For new and non-tenured faculty and graduate teaching assistants, peer review includes direct observation of classroom teaching.
Student evaluation (SPOT)
Every faculty member is evaluated by students every semester in all courses (including summer courses) using the institution-wide Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) questionnaire. This questionnaire and the instructions for administering it were developed by the Faculty Senate. The use of the SPOT is mandatory, although some departments also have additional student evaluation questions which are appended to the SPOT. The department chairperson or appropriate supervisor receives the results of the SPOT from the Office of Academic Computing and shares them with the faculty member every semester. SPOT results are considered, along with other measures and instruments of evaluation, in annual evaluation; in evaluation for reappointment, promotion, and tenure; and in post-tenure review.
The reliability of data gathered by way of student evaluation instruments depends, in part, on the establishment of a set of common practices for administration and use. The Faculty Senate has adopted a set of guidelines for the administration and use of SPOT.