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.


College/School and Department



Nancy Singer, Taskforce Chair

College of Education

Associate Professor

All Subcommittees

Kim Baldus

Pierre Laclede Honors College

Teaching Professor

Peer Feedback

Sanjiv Bhatia

College of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science



Baorong Guo

School of Social Work

Associate Professor

Peer Feedback

Keeta Holmes

Center for Teaching and Learning

Director, CTL & Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

All Subcommittees

Shea Kerkhoff

College of Education

Assistant Professor

Peer Feedback

Vanessa Loyd

College of Nursing

Associate Teaching Professor

Student Feedback

Jennifer McKanry

Center for Teaching and Learning

Assistant Director, CTL


Jennifer Reynolds Moehrle

College of Business Administration, Accounting


Student Feedback

Tareq Nabhan

College of Optometry

Assistant Clinical Professor


Mary Painter

Center for Teaching and Learning

Learning Analytics Coordinator, CTL

Student Feedback

Kurt Schreyer

College of Arts & Sciences, English

Associate Professor

Student Feedback

Jeffrey Sippel

College of Arts & Sciences, Art & Design


Peer Feedback

Ann Steffen

College of Arts & Sciences, Psychological Sciences



Erin Whitteck

Center for Teaching and Learning

Assistant Director, CTL and Assistant Teaching Professor or Chemistry & Biochemistry

Peer Feedback

Hiroko Yoshii

College of Arts & Sciences, Language and Cultural Studies

Assistant Teaching Professor

Student Feedback

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.


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 ( or Nancy Singer (

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.

Work in Progress and Meeting Notes

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.

Feedback for Definition of Teaching Effectiveness

Last month 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. We invite campus input now on our initial work.

Working Draft, Definition of Teaching Effectiveness (provide feedback on this brief form by 11/13)


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.


Using the definitions of peer and aspirational institutions and referring to teaching and learning scholarship as our foundation, we seek your input on our working draft of a definition of teaching effectiveness. Please provide feedback to the committee by responding to the questions on this brief form by Friday, November 13:

Your 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. Please share your feedback before Friday, November 13 on this form. If you have any questions about the goals of the Taskforce or would like to share additional comments or ideas, please reach out to any member of the Taskforce. You can find the email announcement for feedback here.


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).