Conference Presentation Feedback, Part 7: But will it get me tenure?

(See this post for an introduction to this blog series.)

One question that got asked over and over again was essentially, “how can I use this information in my annual performance review and/or my tenure portfolio?”  And that’s an excellent question!  It’s common practice for teaching faculty members to include course evaluations as part of their tenure portfolio, presumably to speak to the quality of their teaching, so how could/should this information be included?

Well, librarians at my institution are tenure-track, and I don’t have tenure yet, so here’s what I plan to do:

  • I’m going to include the transcribed minute papers from a few classes early in my career here, before I made certain changes to some aspects of how I teach certain concepts.1
  • Then I’ll include some transcribed minute papers from some classes from later in my career, after I had implemented those changes.2
  • In the write-up, I’ll describe how these sets of examples tell a story: I used to do this in the classroom, and I learned this from the assessment data, so I changed that, and now students say this about what they’ve learned.  In other words, I’ll demonstrate how I’m implementing the assessment cycle.

My hope is that by providing this information, I’ll be able to demonstrate not only that I’m a good teacher, but also that I am improving.  Evaluations can only provide the former (and are somewhat suspect as a measure of that anyway), while assessment data can demonstrate both the former and the latter — and I would argue that the latter may actually be more important than the former.

Next up: the final installment in our series, in which I get all meta about this project.

  1. This would be the flowchart that I used to use to describe how our link resolver works.
  2. This would be when I switched from using the flowchart to using a screencast.