2018 BENCHMARKS PARTICIPANT
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
The Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering is well-situated to adopt a new approach to evaluating teaching because nearly 40 percent of its faculty members are relatively new and have yet to go through tenure review. Like most departments, chemical and petroleum engineering has relied primarily on student evaluations to gauge teaching effectiveness. Its review committee has raised concerns about that process because it fails to take into account such things as course content, teaching practices, and student learning.
The department Benchmarks team moved quickly to adapt the rubric and will work to gain approval of the full faculty this fall. It spent considerable time creating a system for the evaluation of mentoring, creating categories for both graduate and undergraduate mentoring. The mentoring categories take into account such things as involvement of students in research, recommending students for awards, and student comments in exit interviews. It also set up a peer triad system to replace single classroom visits. With the triad approach, three instructors will review and provide feedback to each other, using a qualitative approach to evaluating course materials, teaching, student learning, and instructors’ reflections. The department plans to take a similar approach with student surveys of teaching, focusing on student comments rather than scores from the surveys.