The New York University School of Professional Studies is committed to supporting its faculty as they develop, adapt, create, and implement educational practices that advance student learning. As instructors and advisors, our faculty are central to our school’s mission:
To prepare our students to succeed at all stages of their educational and professional journey by providing transformative learning steeped in real-world applications, while impacting global industries, professions, and communities.
SPS Faculty Advancement: The Teaching Review program* emphasizes self-reflection, peer mentoring, and professional development to strengthen multiple educational dimensions: instructional strategies, the learning environment, curricular relevance, faculty expertise, student engagement, and course design.
For new full-time and adjunct faculty, Teaching Review focuses on identifying areas of emerging competence and prioritizing areas for further development.
For full-time and adjunct faculty who have taught for more than one year at SPS, the Teaching Review program focuses on ongoing development as an educational practitioner.
Audience and Objectives:
- For new full-time faculty and new adjunct faculty (in their first year teaching at SPS) the objectives are:
- Identify areas of emerging competence
- Identify and prioritize areas for growth
- For full-time faculty and adjunct faculty who have taught at SPS for more than one year the objectives are:
- Identify areas of proficiency and/or expertise
- Identify areas for improvement
- Support faculty to be become reflective practitioners (Schon, 1984)
*The SPS Faculty Advancement: Teaching Review program replaces the SPS “In-Person Class Observation Process and Procedures” and “Online Class Observation Process and Procedures.”
Mentoring for New SPS Adjunct and Full-Time Faculty
The Teaching Review will be conducted for all new SPS adjunct and full-time faculty during the first and second semester they teach. Whenever possible, reviews should be conducted in different courses and by different faculty reviewers.
Professional Development for SPS Adjunct and Full-Time Faculty
Adjunct and full-time faculty who have taught for more than two semesters at SPS will have subsequent reviews according to the following schedule:
Adjunct Faculty: Adjunct faculty must be reviewed once every five semesters that they teach (including summer sessions).
Full-Time Faculty: Full-time faculty must be reviewed once every five semesters that they teach until a minimum of six reviews have been completed. After six reviews, they must be reviewed once every three years.
Additional reviews may be needed if an adjunct or full-time faculty member intends to apply for promotion or requires the review for an upcoming reappointment. Faculty are encouraged to request reviews to align with reappointment as needed.
It is important to note that this schedule reflects minimum expectations and can change based on a variety of circumstances such as, but not limited to, additional reviews that are part of a teaching improvement plan.
Teaching Review (TR) includes six steps.
Step 1: Schedule the Review
Contact the instructor to discuss the teaching review process. Propose a date/timeframe for the review, and request a copy of the official course syllabus. Please note that you must provide the instructor with at least seven (7) days advance notice of the review date. The review should not be scheduled at the start or end of the course. Additionally, extend an invitation to meet with the instructor for an optional Pre-Review Discussion. Inform the instructor that the decision to have the Pre-Review Discussion is at her/his/their discretion.
Step 2: The Pre-Review Discussion
During this meeting, discuss the review process, purposes, and the Teaching Review: Overview and Teaching Review- Learning Dimensions documents. Be sure to ground the Teaching Review in the context of the school’s mission and values. During the discussion, ask the instructor the following questions:
- Do you have any questions?
- Is there anything specific you want me to focus on during the review process (e.g., learning activities, course materials, student application of knowledge, teaching method)?
Additionally, ask the instructor to do the following:
- Give you access to their course site in NYU Brightspace.
- Provide you with digital versions of other materials (e.g., handouts, slides, primary sources, videos, photos) that have not been posted in the course site.
For courses with an official synchronous meeting schedule, the instructor should:
- Provide you with a one-hour time period to visit class.
- Inform students that a colleague will be joining an upcoming class session and reviewing the online course site.
For asynchronous courses with no official synchronous meeting schedule, the instructor should:
- Tell you which specific week/module/lesson/topic should be reviewed on the NYU Brightspace course site.
- Inform students that a colleague will be reviewing the online course site.
The review must be conducted in the same modality as the course (i.e., An online synchronous course must be reviewed online synchronously. An in-person synchronous course must be reviewed in-person synchronously).
For in-person courses with an official synchronous meeting schedule:
Arrive a few minutes before the scheduled class visit.
For online courses with an official synchronous meeting schedule:
Join the session via NYU Zoom a few minutes before the scheduled class visit.
Option 2 (requires Academic Director and Academic Associate Dean approval)
Ask the instructor to record at least one hour of a class session. The recording should show the instructor and the students, and be unedited. Before recording, the instructor should inform the students that the session is being recorded to enhance the student learning experience at NYU and will not be released to the public.
For asynchronous courses with no official synchronous meeting schedule:
Log into the online course site and review all the components (e.g., readings, assignments, activities) of the mutually agreed upon week/module/lesson/topic.
Contact the instructor and extend an invitation to meet with her/him/them for an optional Review Debrief. Inform the instructor that the decision to have the Review Debrief is at her/his/their discretion. If the instructor accepts your invitation, the meeting should take place within one week of completing your review.
- Prior to your meeting, invite the instructor to send you a brief email describing the strengths of the course and areas for development. Inform the instructor that their email will serve as a starting point for the debrief meeting. For courses with an official synchronous meeting schedule, invite them to reflect on what they thought went well and what they would like to improve or might have done differently.
- Start the debrief by discussing the strengths the instructor described in their email. For instructors who did not send an email, start by asking them to describe the strengths of the course and/or what they thought went well.
- Provide specific examples to highlight the effective educational practices you noted.
- From here, move to areas needing improvement. Provide examples and the reasons why a particular strategy was less effective. When doing this be sure to suggest one or more alternatives that could be tried instead. The reviewer should ask the instructor if they have any ideas for changes that would enhance student learning. Provide the instructor with additional resources, as applicable, and reinforce that teaching is a lifelong process.
- Spend the last 10 minutes discussing potential resources and activities that might be useful to advancing the instructor’s teaching.
- Let the instructor know you will complete the Teaching Review Report within one week.
Step 5: The Review Report
Within one week of the debrief, the faculty reviewer should complete theTeaching Review Report. Thoughtful and detailed comments are essential to this process. The report should include specific and actionable feedback on the strengths and areas for improvement. It should also reiterate the strategies to enhance student learning that were discussed in the debrief.
The reviewer should send an electronically signed and dated copy of the Teaching Review Report to the instructor for review and completion.
Step 6: Submission of the Teaching Review Report
After receiving the Teaching Review Report the instructor should review it. After completing her/his/their part, the instructor must electronically sign the Report and send it back to the reviewer within one week of receipt. Once the reviewer has a signed copy of the report, she/he/they must submit it to her/his/their Academic Director for filing.
Reviews must be conducted by SPS full-time faculty, Academic Directors, or Associate Deans. Adjunct faculty may serve as reviewers if they are approved by the Academic Director or the Associate Dean. These adjuncts must have a record of teaching effectiveness. All reviewers must complete the training program offered by the Learning and Teaching Nexus (Nexus) before they are eligible to conduct reviews.
Last Updated: August 7, 2023