Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version



Essays on Teaching Excellence: Toward the Best in the Academy (2008-2009) 20(1)

A publication of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Copyright 2009, Ronald A. Berk. Used by permission


Unfortunately, student ratings have dominated as the primary and, frequently, only measure of teaching performance at colleges and universities for the past four decades (Seldin, 2006). In fact, the evaluation of teaching has been in a metaphorical cul-de-sac with student ratings as the universal barometer. Only recently has there been a trend toward augmenting those ratings with other data sources to broaden and deepen the evidence base (Arreola, 2007; Berk, 2006b; Braskamp and Ory, 1994; Centra, 1993; Knapper and Cranton, 2001; Seldin, 2006).

Although much has been learned over the 60-year history of faculty evaluation and the 50-year his- tory of the 360 ̊ MSF model in management, a lot of work is still necessary to realize the true meaning of “best practices” in measuring teaching performance. The model described in this essay is one strategy institutions can use to improve their procedures for rendering fair and equitable decisions.