FAQ: Classroom Observations and Student Evaluations
How are classroom observations of adjuncts conducted?
Adjunct faculty are observed by the English Adjunct Liaison, the Chair of the English Department, or another fulltime English faculty member. The purpose of the observation is to provide constructive feedback. The observer will contact the adjunct faculty member in advance to arrange a date convenient for both of them, and will request a copy of the syllabus and a recent essay assignment. The observer will visit the class for at least an hour and arrange to meet with the adjunct soon after the observation.
The observer fills out a report that the adjunct faculty member signs and can respond to. The discussion during the meeting would focus on specific areas that were working well and any specific suggestions for improvement.
How often are adjuncts observed in the classroom?
The adjunct contract (Article V) states, "Observations of Adjunct Faculty (Associate Faculty) will be conducted periodically at the discretion of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs." Currently, the college's policy for when adjuncts are observed is based upon length of employment and is as follows:
Peer Evaluation for Adjunct Faculty (excluding summer sessions):
- First Year: One observation each semester for the first two semesters (i.e. one observation each semester).
- Second and Third Years: Two observations during the next four semesters (i.e. one observation every other semester).
- Fourth Year and Beyond: One observation every four semesters (i.e. one observation every two years).
Are adjuncts supposed to have students fill out course evaluations?
Yes. Full-time and part-time faculty must distribute course evaluations to two of their courses (if they teach that many). You will be asked by the office of the Dean of Academic Affairs in the middle of the semester which two courses you want to choose (if you teach more than two). The following are course goals that are identified for English Composition I and English Composition II. A cover sheet should be filled out on your behalf (if you’re teaching either of those classes). If you are teaching a developmental course, contact the Chair regarding how to fill out the cover sheet.
If you are teaching English Composition I or English Composition II, the following goals must be marked as "essential":
- Developing skill in expressing oneself orally or in writing and
- Learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.
The following goals must be marked as "important":
- Learning how to find and use resources for answering questions or solving problems and
- Acquiring an interest in learning more by asking questions and seeking answers.
You will receive copies of your evaluations the following semester. If you have any questions about the process please don’t hesitate to contact the Chair.
Where can I go for help with interpreting my IDEA results?
Karen Gaffney (English) and Kevin Hinkle (Communication and Languages) gave a presentation to the college's adjuncts on All College Day in August 2012 on how to understand IDEA evaluation results. Their slide presentation (.ppt) will give you a basic overview of what IDEA is all about. Their presentation is also available for viewing on YouTube (15 minutes).
The IDEA Center website also has detailed information about how to understand your results and use them to improve your teaching.
Updated 6/23/14 by SA