In the fall 2010 semester the University Evaluation Committee pursued the following goals

1) promoting campus-wide sharing and communication about the new eSPOTs
2) providing research and resources for those interested in developing and using eSPOT items for different purposes. These purposes could include, for example, individual/formative evaluation while instruction is ongoing, summative evaluation (currently used for making tenure/promotion decisions and awards), or program evaluation.
3) planning to provide information/support for department chairs and other administrators on appropriate and useful ways to interpret and use SPOT data

At midterm, volunteers were invited to try out the system with their students, for formative purposes only. Midterm SPOTs allow faculty to design their own items, and to receive feedback while preserving confidentiality (i.e., access to results is provided to instructors only). Unfortunately, we were unable to pilot midterm SPOTs only because of health issues -- minor but unlucky-- that prevented key personnel from being able to launch the online system on time.

At the end of the fall semester 2010, the traditional paper-pencil SPOTs were administered, but were scanned using the new CLASS CLIMATE software. While online adminstration of SPOTs promises faster data processing and quick turnaround with feedback for instructors, the scanning of over 40,000 paper forms required more time than expected. This was a one-time-only problem.

In the spring 2011 semester, we accomplished the following:
1) continued consensus-building and information sharing about implementing eSPOTs
2) proposed policies to allow instructors with small classes (< 7) to use qualitative data and forgo numerical rating statistics
3) collaborated with Institutional Research and the Center for Teaching Excellence to provide information/support for department chairs and other administrators on appropriate and useful ways to interpret and use SPOT data and suggest additional sources for the evaluation of teaching
4) facilitated the first use of online student surveys at midterm
5) proposed pilot of online CLASS CLIMATE system for summer school classes, continuing with old SPOTs instrument

During the summer of 2011 we recruited a panel of faculty judges to review the proposed new SPOT form. They represented all Colleges, all ranks, both graduate and undergraduate instruction, and a full range of teaching experience. Each judge independently reviewed the new SPOT items during the summer, and then in the fall they will met to make final suggestions and recommendations on the form that will be proposed for use campus-wide. Additional items may then be used by departments, programs within departments, and by individual instructors as they wish. Please see the proposed SPOTs draft under the "eSPOT items" link (left-hand menu). Our hardworking faculty panel are listed on the left-hand menu. Please feel welcome to contact any of them to ask about the vetting process.

During the summer and fall of 2011 we reviewed alternative software systems for SPOTs delivery and data analysis, and are currently working toward adopting a program called SmartEval. A number of committee members, deans, department chairs, and other interested TCU faculty and staff have viewed SmartEval demonstrations and have expressed very positive impressions regarding the system's capabilities.

Also please enjoy looking through the rest of our wikispace and we welcome your contributions to the discussion.