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Palomar College Learning For Success

Online Evaluations FAQ

This page will be updated regularly as we get more frequently asked questions. Please email llawson@palomar.edu with more questions.

Are we conducting faculty evaluations in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 despite the online environment?

Yes. Faculty evaluations scheduled (or delayed) for part-time, tenured (peer), and probationary faculty will resume Fall 2020. Of note, students evaluations and classroom/workplace observations will mostly occur in the online environment. Formative evaluation is still essential for continued professional growth, and students still need a way to provide feedback on their learning environments.

When do I conduct a classroom observation?

TERB Calendars for academic year 2020-2021 will be approved and posted soon. However, evaluation activities, including classroom observations and student evaluations, usually occur during the month of October for full-semester classes and during the mid-point of the term for courses of other durations. Student evaluations and observations for Counseling and Library Sessions may occur throughout the semester.

How do I conduct an online classroom observation?

We have a form specifically for online classroom observations. Please find it linked here. The form focuses on six questions, and observers should find evidence to answer all six questions during their observation period. Of note, the observation period for online classes is a maximum of two weeks. This form is applicable to part-time, tenured (peer) and probationary evaluations.

For online classroom observations, do not use the classroom observation form for face-to-face classes. (These will soon be removed from the Tenure and Evaluations website to decrease confusion.)

How do I get access to an evaluee’s Canvas course?

Previously, evaluators requested Canvas access via ADAs or the Instruction Office. Now, the evaluees themselves are the ones who grant the observer access to the Canvas shell and then revoke that access. This is done using the evaluator’s full Palomar email address (e.g., llawson@palomar.edu–this is an example; do not add me to your Canvas). This happens in the “People” tab of the evaluee’s canvas course, and ATRC helpfully has created a video for how to do that [link]. An evaluator should communicate with the evaluee about when the two-week observation window will begin (within the evaluation window of October for full-term courses or during the middle-point of the term for shorter term (FT1, FT2, etc.) courses). Then, the evaluee must give the evaluator the role of OBSERVER (and only OBSERVER) and then revoke the role after two weeks.

What are my options for observing a faculty member in an online environment?

There are two options:

(A) participating as an observer in the evaluee’s Canvas course [the observation period is limited to two weeks] or

(B) arranging a time to review the distance education platform together where the evaluee will guide the evaluator through the online course.

More information can be found here.

If a live session is part of the online course, may I observe that as well?

Yes. As an observer choosing option A, you are observing the online course for up to two weeks. If a live or recorded Zoom session is part of the course during that time, you may observe it. In fact, such an observation could provide useful data for questions 3, 4, and 6 of the online classroom observation form. However, the online evaluation process is applicable to synchronous or asynchronous learning environments, so observing a live (or recorded) class session is not required (some instructors may not have them, for example). If you are choosing option B, you could certainly view videos of recorded live content–if they are part of the online course–but a live session might not be available during this shorter timeframe. If an evaluator wants to make sure to observe a live session in addition to looking through the Canvas/LMS materials, that observer should choose option A.

In all cases, communication with the evaluee is key. Let them know what you want to observe so they can be informed ahead of time and so they can inform students, if necessary.

How do I conduct an online workplace observation?

Counselors will still use the standard Counseling Session observation form. Please find it linked here. Evaluee should share the Zoom link for the Counseling session with the evaluator and inform the student of the observation.

For instructional settings, Librarians will still use the standard Library Session observation form. Please find it linked here. Evaluee should share the Zoom link for the Library session with the evaluator and inform the student of the observation.

For non-instructional settings, Librarians will still use the standard non-instructional Library Workplace observation form. Please find it linked here. Evaluee and evaluator should discuss the manner in which the non-instructional observation can occur.

How are student evaluations conducted?

The Tenure and Evaluations Office handles the proctoring of student evaluations using its online system. Faculty do not need to proctor student evaluations for online courses. Student evaluation questions for online courses can be found here.

From the evaluator/evaluee, we request the course name and 5-digit code for the course up for eval. It’s put into our online system, and then students (and faculty) are notified via email of the upcoming evaluation. As well, students are prompted via Canvas to complete the student evaluation. The student evaluation period for online classes typically runs for four weeks. Results are sent to evaluators after the evaluation period closes, and then faculty may request their student evaluations from the tenure and Evaluations Office using this form [link here COMING SOON]. Of note, evaluees cannot receive their student evaluations until grades for the term are posted.

What questions will students be answering in their evaluation for their courses?

Some questions for an online course are slightly different than for a face-to-face course. This is to ensure students give feedback on the material as well as the online course environment. Please find the questions linked here. Please find the questions used in ESL classes here (English) and here (Spanish) [Coming Soon] .

Questions following an online Counseling Session are the same as for a face-to-face Counseling Session. Please find the questions linked here.

Questions following an online instructional Library Session are the same as for a face-to-face Library Session. Please find the questions linked here.

Questions following an online non-instructional Library Session are the same as for a face-to-face Library Session. Please find the questions linked here.

How many classes are observed for each group of faculty–part-time, tenured (peer), and probationary?

Part-time faculty: one class is observed. Usually, the choice is mutual between evaluator and evaluee. However, if the Department Chair has a concern about one particular class, they can request that class be observed.

Tenured (peer) faculty: one class is observed. The peer faculty typically chooses the course.

Probationary faculty: three classes are usually observed (one for each faculty on the evaluations committee; however, a fourth may be observed if the Dean conducts an observation. Usually, the choices are mutual. Keep in mind, each member should observe a different class, if possible. If the probationary faculty member’s load does not allow this, and one course must be observed twice, please make sure the observations occur at different times (preferably during different weeks).

How many classes have student evaluations for each group of faculty–part-time, tenured (peer), and probationary?

Part-time faculty: one class has student evaluations. The class that is observed is the one that has student evaluations run in it.

Tenured (peer) faculty: two classes have student evaluations. The peer faculty typically chooses the courses for this (typically, one course in the observed course and the second course is, well, another course).

Probationary faculty: all classes up to the faculty members “full time teaching load” have student evaluations. If your evaluee teaches only three-unit classes, that may be five classes. If they teach only five-unit classes, that may be three classes. If they have release time, their “full time teaching load” may be less than 15 units. For this year, some faculty have a “full-time load” that may be only special projects. We’re creating matrices for that so there is some data evaluations committees can use in lieu of student evaluations data in those cases. (This has been done many times in the past, so this practice is not new; only the reason why we’d do that (COVID-19 fallout) is new.)

Observation and Student Evaluation Period for Courses: October [last week of September and first week of November permissible if necessary]

Observation and Student Evaluation Period for Counseling/Library Sessions: Weeks 4-14 of the semester

Probationary TEC Meetings: Last four working weeks of the semester

Fall 2020 Probationary Packet due to Tenure and Evaluations Office: Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Fall 2020 Peer and Part-Time Evaluation Packets due to Tenure and Evaluations Office: Monday, March 1st, 2021

Link to full calendars