Teacher Evaluation in Higher Education

Teacher evaluation is very important to ensure that quality education is being imparted in an educational set up. However the process of teacher evaluation, its effectiveness, reliability and its impact has been very critical and always a question for researchers, educationists as well as educational administrators.

Modern theories have been supporting what is called a 360 degree evaluation. Where 360 degree evaluation means that a teachers’ performance must be evaluated not only by head or immediate boss responsible for heading the team of teachers, but it is also necessary that he/she be evaluated by his/her colleagues as well as students. Thus a 360 degree evaluation refers to evaluation by all those people surrounding the teacher in an educational setup with whom the teacher is directly or indirectly concerned. Well, after deciding that who evaluates the teacher, the next challenging question is how to evaluate the teacher? What are the best tools to evaluate the teachers’ performance? What factors must be kept in mind while evaluating a teachers’ performance in higher education? And who around the teacher should be using which tool that is appropriate for him/her. The discussion of what tools to use may become too much for this short write up, however, the important factors that must be considered while evaluating a higher education teacher are discussed below.

Students must be allowed to evaluate their teacher based on how he/she considers and accommodates different learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds. Does he/she provide a safe, comfortable environment for students and does he/she deliver the concepts effectively?

Peer evaluation cannot be ignored while evaluating a teachers’ performance. Peer evaluation not only helps provide an expert opinion on the performance of the teacher, but is also required to evaluate the team skills of a teacher being part of a learning environment.

Evaluation by immediate boss or head of the group of teachers normally helps provide information on how much cooperative the teacher is in providing advisory as well as administrative support in different academic as well as non-academic activities.

In addition to being evaluated for how effective he/she is in teaching, delivering concepts, providing comfort zones to students, cooperating with heads, and being effective team member, a higher education teacher must also be evaluated for research productivity. Research productivity is not only the number of publications, but it must also consider the original work produced by a teacher.

In conclusion, it can be said that teachers’ evaluation is a tough and complex process and requires a careful consideration of many factors as well as opinion of many people before deciding on the performance of a teacher. It requires considering very reliable tools for evaluation which must have been tested for reliability. Moreover, teachers’ evaluation in higher education must not only consider quantitative tools, but it also requires qualitative methods to be used to come up with the important findings about a teachers’ performance.