Consultations Phase 2: Summary of Findings


  • The literature review and environmental scan conducted by CTAPT both indicate that the University of Waterloo should adopt the use of Teaching Dossiers (TD) and Peer Review of Teaching (PRT) across campus as complementary methods in addition to student course perception surveys (SCPSs) to assist in the formative and summative assessment of teaching.
  • The objective of Phase 2 of CTAPT consultations was to consult with faculty members about the tools, mechanisms and conditions needed in order to implement and support ongoing use PRT and TD.
  • CTAPT will use the findings from consultations to help inform CTAPT recommendations to Senate.  

Who participated in the consultations?

  • 169 participants in total, which is approximately a 13% faculty response rate. 
  • 72 faculty members participated in the in-person sessions and 97 completed the online survey.
  • High participation rates (survey and in person combined) from the Faculties of Mathematics (32% of participants), Science (20%) and Engineering (20%).
  • Survey only: The majority of survey respondents (69%) are Tenured / Continuing Faculty; 13% of survey respondents are Chairs/Directors. 

What did participants say?

  • Findings from Phase 2 of consultations (in person and online survey) fall into three main thematic categories: 
  1. Value and Impact – Usefulness of complementary methods
  2. Procedures and Guidelines – Clarity on using complementary methods
  3. Resources – Needs for and feasibility of implementing complementary methods
  • The themes that emerged from consultations are consistent with the literature and provide information on needs and concerns from faculty members’ perspective. The frequency of mentions are provided in brackets.
  • Survey results are described below in the left column. We have included CTAPT responses to some of the items in the right column.
  • Thank you for your time and input to work towards improving teaching and the assessment of teaching at Waterloo! 

Next steps

  • Based on the findings from the literature review, environmental scan, and two rounds of consultations with key stakeholders, CTAPT is preparing a report for Senate, which we hope to submit by early 2020. We will continue to share updates and news through appropriate university communication channels and our webpage: Complementary Teaching Assessment Project Team. 

Methodology and method

  • CTAPT produced a backgrounder document, which contains a summary of key research findings on assessing teaching, PRT and TD “fact sheets,” and a table mapping the three assessment methods to the definition of teaching effectiveness developed by CTAPT. This information was posted on our webpage and provided to participants for review in advance of the consultation.  
  • CTAPT provided two ways to participate in consultations: 1) Complete an online survey available from October 7, 2019 to October 20, 2019, or 2) Attend an in-person session – six Faculty-specific sessions and one session for the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo took place between October 7, 2019 and October 15, 2019.  
  • Discussions from the in-person sessions were anonymized. Each session was read as a complete document with attention to comments for each method; the researcher conducted preliminary analysis using an inductive approach to code comments in addition to coding to the literature to create a preliminary list of topics.
  • Survey responses (Qualtrics) and in-person consultations were imported to NVivo and analyzed in aggregate. The researcher reviewed all responses by method and question, and coded comments based on the preliminary list of topics; new thematic nodes were added as they emerged.  
  • The researcher analyzed data through a process of examining individual thematic nodes and using queries to identify prevalence and links, then reorganized and grouped nodes into high level themes. Synthesized findings were presented to the CTAPT committee in a report for review and discussion.