About the Complementary Teaching Assessment Project

The Complementary Teaching Assessments Project Team (CTAPT) was formed with a mandate of researching and recommending complementary methods for the assessment of teaching at the University of Waterloo.

CTAPT has been excited by the campus community's engagement with the question of teaching assessment, as well as its strong support for the use of complementary assessment methods.

The committee would like to thank everyone for their valuable contributions to date.

In Phase One of the project, CTAPT:

(1) Conducted a literature review of definitions of effective teaching in Higher Education (see Backgrounder: Defining Teaching Effectiveness and Dimensions of Teaching Effectiveness: Links to the Literature);

(2) Proposed an evidence-based definition (see Backgrounder: Defining Teaching Effectiveness);

(3) Conducted campus consultations to obtain feedback on this definition (see CTAPT Teaching Effectiveness Survey Results);

(4) Produced a refined definition based on campus feedback, and shared a report with campus (see CTAPT Teaching Effectiveness Survey Results).

Following this work, CTAPT developed a definition of teaching effectiveness framed by four central dimensions: Design, Execution, Student Experience, and Development. Each dimension includes sub-dimensions describing evidence-based principles of effective teaching adapted from the University of Waterloo's Undergraduate Learning Issue Paper (May 2018), Allen et al. (2009), Bain (2004), Chickering and Gamson (1987), Hativa et al. 2001, and Ramsden (2000, 2003). Note that context (such as course size or level, mode of teaching, and signature disciplinary approaches) is still an important factor for consideration, as some sub-dimension items may be more or less relevant depending on context (see Allen 2009; Devlin and Samaracwickrema 2010).

Phase Two of the project included:

(1) A literature review and environmental scan of current and best practices of assessing teaching at the University of Waterloo and other Canadian  and international universities. The literature review and scan both indicate that UWaterloo should adopt the use of Teaching Dossiers (TD) and Peer Review of Teaching (PRT) as complementary methods (see Backgrounder: Methods for the Assessment of Teaching and Bibliography: Methods for the Assessments of Teaching).

(2) Consultations with Faculty (in person and via survey) about the tools, mechanisms, and conditions needed in order to implement  and support ongoing use of PRT and TD (see Findings from Consultations Phase 2 - Campus Report).