Arts Teaching Evaluations linked to a Faculty Directory on the Arts Website

TitleArts Teaching Evaluations linked to a Faculty Directory on the Arts Website
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

WHAT: The primary objective is to link the current database of Arts teaching evaluation data to the Arts faculty directory. We also plan to spend some of the funding on beginning the work of linking the "teaching philosophy" of ORSIL's "" project to the directory. Finally, we would like to spend some of the grant ensuring that what we do will be as compatible as possible with the teaching databases in Science and Commerce, so that the Arts system can be transferred to their situations as seamlessly as possible. Both faculties have expressed strong interest in undertaking a similar project in the future (see attached letters), and we would approach other faculties, should the AMS or the VP Students office feel this is appropriate.

WHY: The UBC Senate stated in February 1996 that teaching evaluations should be made public: in the past Arts and other faculties have supplied teaching data to the AMS Yardstick which was at first published and then posted on the AMS website. In the past two years, Laura Best and Brenda Ogembo, past and current AMS VPs, have added AMS support not simply to publishing this information on the web, but also to contextualizing it better. They note that other major Canadian universities make their evaluations available (most notably, University of Western Ontario; the University of Toronto evaluations appear in the student "anti-calendar"). Putting teaching evaluations results into the faculty directory on the Arts website should make them easier to find for students, prospective students and the faculty members themselves, drawing more attention to teaching quality in the faculty. Once the directory is fully operational, teaching data will be set into the broader context of the instructors' qualifications, research interests, major publications, and, most important for this project, their teaching philosophy.

HOW: Arts has already transferred the data that used to be published in the AMS Yardstick into a more flexible format, added more information, cleaned the data, and provided a way in which departments can control which data is displayed. The faculty directory is intended, when complete, to be a multi­featured database-driven site, linked to a variety of university sites so that information will stay accurate without needing to be updated independently. For example when an instructor updates the teaching philosophy on “”, the directory will automatically reflect this change. Although database-driven websites are expensive to set up, maintenance is quite simple. Information is either derived automatically from linked official sites or controlled by the department or the instructor in person. Thus difficulties in getting accurate information are reduced to near nil and errors are not introduced by multiple insertions of data. That said, the Arts faculty directory, although the structure has been completed (see, cannot be finished until "” is ready. However, we can link the teaching database to the faculty directory before that happens and begin the work on linking our directory to "” as work continues on this project at ORSIL over the coming year. We are closely linked with the "" project, which was initiated in Arts. One of the main areas of work will be ensuring that teaching data for a particular instructor is reliably attached to his or her directory site.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2005/2006
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorJohn Cooper
Year 1: Funded Amount26,663
Year 1: Team Members

John Cooper, Associate Dean, Students, Faculty of Arts