These policies pertain to the work of the Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development (OFASD) in the context of teaching and learning evaluations and planning. For general policies, please see our OFASD Policies page.
Professional observations, interactions, and conclusions related to specific clients or cases, and information about the actual activities and results of a consultation, will be offered only to the client to be used as they choose (e.g., to put in a teaching portfolio). Any additional use of the results is subject to the consent of the client.
Instructional development consultations are voluntary and confidential within the limits allowed by the law. If the client retains a copy of the consultation records or wishes our office to retain these records, these materials will be kept confidential to the maximum extent allowed by the law. However, they may be subject to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. For more information, see the Consumer Laws link at: http://www.michigan.gov/ag.
The OFASD does not provide summative evaluations of teaching. OFASD provides support services with strictly formative evaluations for the purpose of reflection, growth, and development. Our personnel will not provide recommendations for teaching awards, fellowships, or honorific opportunities. It is our belief that summative evaluation may deter instructors from participating in programs and services. Although our staff may be aware of an educator’s instructional abilities and style, it is important for the OFASD to be seen as a safe and confidential place to practice and explore teaching methods without concern that these efforts will be made public.
Unit-Level Improvement Plans
At the request of the academic unit, and with the consent of the instructor the OFASD will confirm instructor compliance with improvement plans, but the OFASD will not share evaluative statements or progress reports with anyone other than the instructor. The instructor is free to share this information at their discretion.
If the OFASD is to be included in improvement plans, we encourage unit chairs and directors to contact us to discuss the full array of professional development options (e.g., individual instructor consultations, mid-term student feedback, workshops, and sharing of published resources).
When possible, we encourage voluntary participation by the client, which is often most productive both for the client and the client-consultant relationship.
The OFASD encourages but does not require, unit leaders to contact us to clarify the unit’s goals for instructional improvement plans for individual instructors before the plans are confirmed. Different types of support are effective across instructor challenges and situations. The suggestion to engage the OFASD in the planning process is not intended to be an invasion of privacy. It is intended to alert instructors and units to the available options.
Instructional support can be obtained through the Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation at https://teachingcenter.msu.edu/.