Evaluating Online Faculty

Last updated June 16, 2017

Evaluating Online Faculty

Last updated June 16, 2017


With the growth of online education, institutions face the challenge of effectively measuring the quality of online teaching and the teaching competencies of their online faculty. Rather than using new practices tailored to a specific online learning environment, many institutions use basic evaluation methods that are not responsive to individual course considerations. Applying new practices specifically designed for your online environment will allow you to increase course quality, student success, and faculty engagement.

Join us for an online course that will help you develop an innovative faculty evaluation plan that is built for online programs. Over the course of 4 modules, our expert instructors will:

  • Guide you through an audit of current online faculty evaluation to identify strengths and opportunities
  • Share a variety of evaluation models and tools to help you integrate best practices into the evaluation of your online faculty

Who should attend?

This course focuses on formal administrative, peer, and student evaluations of online teaching as well as informal strategies for improving online teaching performance. Therefore, professionals that will benefit the most from this course include:

  • Academic chairs
  • Department heads
  • Deans
  • Senior academic administrators
  • Online faculty services
  • Faculty developers


Module 1: Developing Skill Sets for Evaluating Online Faculty Performance

Learning Outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to assess your institution’s current approaches to online faculty evaluation and set goals for improvement.

While there is a plethora of best practice research to guide online teaching, adapting this information to fit unique institutional needs is challenging. In this live session, you will work to explore considerations that may impact evaluation of online teaching at your institution. Working together with instructors and peer institutions, you will identify new opportunities in online faculty evaluation and different approaches to leveraging those opportunities.

Assignment for Module 1

  • Complete a faculty evaluation program audit to establish a baseline of your current efforts and allow for a more comprehensive development of your plan.
  • Set faculty evaluation goals and benchmarks that align with institutional academic objectives.


Module 2: Informal Evaluation: Methods and Tools for Gathering Formative Feedback

Learning Outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to use informal evaluation methods to formatively improve your online course instruction.  

Not all faculty evaluation must be formal and summative; ongoing progression throughout the course is key to meaningful improvement. Prompting additional stakeholders to provide formative feedback can result in vital information for any instructor and should be incorporated in your evaluation strategy. In this session, we will discuss methods and tools for gaining additional insight that can improve one’s online teaching practice.

  • Strategies for getting student feedback along the way
  • Mentoring programs
  • Informal peer observations
  • Self-review strategies

Assignment for Module 2

Choose two types of informal evaluation to apply to programs or courses at your institution:

  • Student Evaluation of Teaching
  • Structure for Self-Evaluation
  • Formative Peer Evaluation
  • Mid- Term Evaluations


Module 3: Formal Evaluation: Peer and Administrative Review of Online Teaching

Learning Outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to use formal evaluation methods to summatively improve course instruction.

Administrators and faculty peers are typically the ones responsible for the evaluation of teaching, and they use methods such as classroom observation. Online teaching brings new challenges to this type of review. In this session we will explore several tools administrators and/or faculty peers can use to review online teaching, including:

  • Checklist for Online Interactive Learning (COIL)
  • Quality Matters
  • Quality Online Course Initiative
  • Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric
  • Penn State’s Peer Review of Online Teaching instrument

Utilizing both peer and instructor feedback, this resource-packed session will help you determine the most effective formal tools for your faculty evaluation program.

Assignment for Module 3

  • Choose a formal evaluation tool or modify your current tool to best fit your institution’s needs.
  • Apply this evaluation tool to a past course at your institution to ensure that your program goals were met.


Module 4: Preparing Faculty for the Evaluation Process

Learning Outcome: After participating in this online training, you will be able to begin building an online faculty evaluation initiative that is supported by all stakeholders.

Implementing a new format for teaching evaluation can raise questions from campus stakeholders. In this interactive session, you will learn best practices for starting or revising online-teaching evaluations, including the following topics:

  • Stakeholder involvement: Bringing the administration, faculty, and bargaining unit into the decisions
  • Pilot program development: How to start small and “grow the change” from within
  • Red herrings: Common questions, concerns, and objections–and how to turn them into opportunities
  • Outcome alignment: How to assure faculty members that evaluations of online and classroom teaching actually measure the same things

Assignment for Module 4

  • Complete the faculty evaluation development plan that incorporates the tools, tips, and evaluation methods discussed throughout the course.
  • Discuss any remaining questions with our expert instructors through an open discussion forum.

Additional Resources

Included with your registration is a suite of resources to help your institution better evaluate your online courses and faculty:

  • Online faculty evaluation program audit and development plan
  • Tools for implementing informal and formal evaluation strategies
  • Sample course guides and teaching samples
  • Outline for effectively introducing new methods of online faculty evaluation