Charge

We are proud of the strong tradition of teaching excellence at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. However, teaching assessment at UMSL and across the University of Missouri System currently ranges in clarity and specificity within and across academic units. Teaching that excels in achieving effective student learning must be assessed and rewarded in ways reflecting its high priority to the university, our faculty, and most importantly, our students. Moreover, resources and mechanisms for rewarding the excellent teaching on our campus are limited and inconsistent. UMSL faculty and other instructional staff deserve a comprehensive, clear, and meaningful process for evaluating their teaching as it pertains to their own professional development goals and opportunities for continuous improvement, tenure, promotion, merit, recognition, and other outcomes.

To align with a more meaningful recognition and reward structure for distinction in teaching, together with the other institutions in the UM System, we are excited to announce that UMSL is advancing on a path to create a comprehensive method for measuring teaching effectiveness. In consultation with the Center for Teaching & Learning, the Faculty Senate Academic Advisory Committee, the Faculty Senate Educational Outcomes Committee, and other stakeholders, the Office of the Provost has convened a Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce to leverage the foundational work previously started by the then-Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC), and where appropriate, adapt successful implementation models from peer institutions.

The Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce has four main goals:

  • To craft a comprehensive definition of teaching effectiveness
  • To propose a campus-wide, multi-measure approach for the evaluation of teaching
  • To propose a system to support, recognize and incentivize teaching excellence
  • To establish a plan to measure the long-term impacts of these changes on student learning and success.

To accomplish these goals, the Taskforce will ground its approach in research literature on best practices and examples from peer and aspirational institutions, relying on the expertise and ingenuity of our own excellent instructors. A campus-wide dialogue is necessary to solicit input from faculty and instructional staff at all levels who will be affected directly by any policy changes.


Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce Members

Membership on the Taskforce is broadly representative and will be supported by the Center for Teaching & Learning.  We are delighted to announce the following faculty members who are serving our university on this critical Taskforce in the 2020-2021 academic year, and we thank Dr. Nancy Singer for her willingness to serve as the Taskforce Chair.

Name

College/School and Department

Title

Kim Baldus, Taskforce Chair

Pierre Laclede Honors College

Teaching Professor

Baorong Guo

School of Social Work

Associate Professor

Nancy Singer

College of Education

Associate Professor

Shea Kerkhoff

College of Education

Assistant Professor
Vanessa Loyd College of Nursing Associate Teaching Professor
Jennifer Reynolds Moehrle College of Businesss Administration, Accounting Professor
Seemantini Pathak College of Business Administration, Global Leadership and Management Associate Professor
Tareq Nabhan College of Optometry Assistant Clinical Professor
Sanjiv Bhatia College of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science Professor
Kurt Schreyer College of Arts & Sciences, English Associate Professor
Jeffrey Sippel College of Arts & Sciences, Art & Design Professor
Marc Spingola College of Arts & Sciences, Biology Teaching Professor
Ann Steffen College of Arts & Sciences, Psychological Sciences Professor
Hiroko Yoshii College of Arts & Sciences, Language and Cultural Studies Assistant Teaching Professor

Keeta Holmes

Center for Teaching and Learning

Director, CTL, and Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

Jen McKanry

Center for Teaching and Learning

Assistant Director

Mary Painter

Center for Teaching and Learning

Learning Analytics Coordinator

Erin Whitteck

Center for Teaching and Learning and College of Arts & Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Assistant Director and Asst Teaching Professor


Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce Subcommittees


The Student Feedback Subcommittee is tasked with understanding ways in which we can successfully use student feedback to inform teaching and learning as laid out by the teaching effectiveness definition.
The Peer Feedback Subcommittee is tasked with understanding how the university can use peer review and assessment to understand how faculty can improve teaching and learning as laid out by the teaching effectiveness definition.
The Self-Reflection Review Subcommittee is tasked with developing ways in which faculty can use self-reflection to improve teaching and learning as laid out by the teaching effectiveness definition.

 

Contact

Periodic communication will be coming from this Taskforce to solicit feedback/input from faculty and other instructional staff, share its progress, and advance the UMSL and UM System-wide conversation on this important strategic goal.

The Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce welcomes your input and feedback as part of a process to foster effective teaching that involves the entire UMSL community. You can provide feedback through an anonymous form by following this link. You can also send an email to Keeta Holmes (keetaholmes@umsl.edu).

If you are willing to provide us with some information about you, someone on our team can provide you a personalized follow-up response. However, providing personal identity information is optional. Your honest, candid contributions to this effort are valuable, and we want everyone to be able to share without feeling vulnerable. 

Thank you for your dedication to our students and for your voice in this important campus conversation. Know that you are making a difference in the lives of our students.


Resources and References

The Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce continues to grow through work of our subcommittees and the Taskforce at large. Meetings, discussions, and activities inform our current work. We invite you to examine these resources as our community considers how to best assess, support, and reward teaching for learning on campus.


Full Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce

Student Feedback Committee

Peer Feedback Committee

Meeting Notes for the Peer Feedback Committee will be posted soon.

Self-Reflection Committee

Other resources will be posted soon.

 

Work in Progress

The work of the UMSL Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce draws inspiration from MU's Task Force to Enhance LEarning and Teaching (TFELT). Under their Work in Progress page, MU provides a number of definition of teaching effectiveness examples, including examples from other institutions.


Campus Conversations

The Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce will offer a number of community engagement opportunities open to the UMSL community. The purpose is twofold: to keep members of the community updated with the progress of the Taskforce's work and to solicit input and feedback form the community.


Opportunities to provide input will be coming soon.

Learn more about previous efforts by the Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce to seek feedback on its ongoing work from members of the UMSL community

 

October 8, 2020 - Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce announcement letter from the Provost

On October 8, 2020, Provost Marie T. Mora and Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Innovation Keeta Holmes announced the formation of the Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce to the UMSL community (attached here).

 

November 13, 2020 - Feedback for Definition of Teaching Effectiveness

In October Provost Mora announced the convening of the Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce (see attached). Chaired by Nancy Singer, the Taskforce has been working towards its goals focusing first on crafting a carefully considered definition of teaching effectiveness using the definitions of peer and aspirational institutions and referring to teaching and learning scholarship as our foundation. We invited campus input now on our initial work through a brief form by November 13, 2020. The definition was as follows:

Effective teaching at the University of Missouri-St. Louis fosters student learning through research-informed, relevant, organized, and engaging instruction.

Using disciplinary expertise as well as current pedagogical content knowledge, effective educators are student-focused and employ strategies that promote student learning. Effective educators respect diversity by creating a community for learners that is inclusive and equitable. Effective educators model and foster lifelong, self-directed learning.

Sustained teaching effectiveness requires continual refinement through deliberative reflection and professional development. It is documented and assessed by measurable outcomes, and it is strengthened by institutional resources and programs that promote a culture of support.

Campus feedback is essential in helping us know we are on the right track and also in ensuring that the definition reflects your values and UMSL’s mission. We can continuing to work on the teaching effectiveness definition by incorporating the feedback that the UMSL community provided.

 

February 2, 2021 - Feedback for Next Draft on Definition of Teaching Effectiveness

In November 2020, we reached out to the UMSL community for feedback on the Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce’s definition of teaching effectiveness. The Teaching Effectiveness Taskforce took the constructive suggestions from that feedback and incorporated it into a new working definition. We invited the campus once again for input for the final working draft of the definition. We invited campus input now on our initial work through a brief form by February 3, 2020. The definition was as follows:

Effective teaching at the University of Missouri-St. Louis fosters relevant, organized, inspiring, and engaging instruction. It creates a student-focused learning environment valuing a diverse community that is inclusive and equitable.

Effective educators use disciplinary or professional expertise to design research-informed, carefully constructed courses. They employ a variety of teaching strategies and assessment measures that leverage appropriate technology and provide timely, constructive feedback to promote student learning and achievement. They promote high standards and accountability that foster lifelong, self-directed learning. 

Sustained teaching effectiveness requires continual refinement through deliberative reflection and professional development. Strengthened by institutional resources and programs that promote a culture of support, teaching effectiveness is documented and assessed by measurable outcomes as established by departments and instructors. 

Campus feedback is essential in helping us know we are on the right track and also in ensuring that the definition reflects your values and UMSL’s mission. We can continuing to work on the teaching effectiveness definition by incorporating the feedback that the UMSL community provided. You can find a copy of the email announcement for the next round of feedback on the teaching effectiveness definition here.