Tenure and Promotion Reviews: Preparing a sampling request

In tenure and promotion reviews, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment selects a representative sample of 60 students to participate in the student review of the candidate’s teaching.  Initiators confer with the candidate to prepare a sampling request form that will enable IE&A to select the sample.  The form provides two options:

  1. Simple random selection – The most straightforward approach is a simple random sample drawn from all the students enrolled in the instructor’s courses within the time frame established on the form, and from any additional lists of students instructed in other kinds of settings that aren’t recorded in the Student Information System; these additional lists are supplied by the initiator.
  2. Modified random selection In some cases, a different kind of sampling procedure may produce a more representative sample.  A candidate’s courses may be divided into subgroups reflecting his or her teaching responsibilities, and specified percentages of the sample of students may be drawn from each subgroup to reflect the distribution of the candidate’s responsibilities.  For example:
  • If half the candidate’s courses are upper-division courses, 50% of the sample could be drawn from upper-division courses and 50% from lower-division courses. Since upper-division courses typically have smaller enrollments, students from upper division courses would thus be “over-represented” in the sample as a percentage of the total number of students the faculty member taught, but the final sample would be more representative of the faculty member’s teaching assignments.
  • If the candidate has taught a small number of students in a non-course setting, such as studio lessons, student teaching supervision, or undergraduate research, the invited sample could include all the students taught in those settings.
  • If the candidate has offered team-taught courses, it may be wise to under-sample students from the team-taught courses, because students often have difficulty distinguishing the contributions of different faculty members in team-teaching situations, particularly if the team includes several instructors.

The candidate and initiator are welcome to consult with IE&A in planning the sampling procedure. A description of the sample and sampling procedure will be provided to the initiator by IE&A for inclusion in the candidate’s dossier.