ERIC Identifier: ED408004
Publication Date: 1997-04-00
Author: Andrews, Hans A.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for
Community Colleges Los Angeles CA.
TQM and Faculty Evaluation: Ever the Twain Shall Meet? ERIC
Total Quality Management (TQM), a form of management that emphasizes
continuous quality improvement processes in institutional operations, represents
a major shift in academic administrative circles from hierarchical to collegial
management. Under a variety of names such as Continuous Quality Management, or
Responsibility Center Management, TQM type principles have been successfully
implemented at a number of community colleges, particularly in areas such as
financial aid, admissions and registration, and clerical and staff performance
(Spanbauer, 1992). Despite enthusiasm for TQM in community colleges, some
critics (Seymour, 1991; Cross, 1993) note that it is applied to administrative
areas and not to academic areas such as teaching and learning. For example,
evaluating classroom teaching using TQM principles is non-existent in all but a
few of the community colleges that have adopted TQM. Administrators, as
facilitators of TQM, can bring it into the classroom by recognizing, rewarding
and reinforcing the performance of faculty in teaching. One way in which this
can be accomplished is by adopting a valid and fair appraisal process that does
more than pay "lip service" (Licata and Andrews, 1990) to improving the quality
of teaching. This Digest presents barriers to applying TQM in the classroom,
reviews innovative ways in which select community colleges are introducing TQM
principles and practices into the classroom, and discusses the role of
administrators in facilitating TQM through the faculty evaluation process.
BARRIERS TO APPLYING TQM IN THE CLASSROOM
Applying the TQM
principle of continuous quality improvement to teaching requires an
understanding of faculty discomfort with and resistance to the business-oriented
approach of the TQM model. Schauerman and Peachy (1994), Heverly (1994), and
Chaffee and Sherr (1992) describe some of the barriers to translating TQM to the
faculty resistance to the notion of the student as customer or beneficiary;
faculty resistance to interference in their disciplinary and teaching
differences between faculty and TQM reward and recognition systems;
threats to academic freedom;
costs of TQM training, which take away from direct classroom support.
Despite these barriers, some community colleges are finding innovative ways
to apply TQM in the classroom.
APPLYING TQM IN THE CLASSROOM
Several initiatives to
introduce the TQM principle and practice of continuous quality improvement into
the classroom have generated interest among faculty. One is Angelo and Cross'
(1993) classroom assessment techniques (CAT) model. CAT is designed to be used
by faculty members to assess the quality of teaching and learning in their own
classrooms. "CAT allows instructors to apply their own creativity and knowledge
of their discipline to develop assessment measures that meet their particular
needs and teaching priorities" (p. xiv). A different approach to applying TQM in
the classroom is Baugher's (1992) LEARN
(Locate-Establish-Assess-Research-Nominate) model, developed at Samford
University. It brings the faculty member together with a student quality team to
identify opportunities for improving student learning in a specific class. The
student team uses brainstorming to identify characteristics that may be
interfering with student learning. Additionally, the team develops a survey,
containing items based on their brainstorming, and uses it to gather data from
the entire class. The objective is to identify opportunities for improving the
teaching/learning environment. The data gathered from the class are used to plan
improvements in classroom processes. The changes are implemented and then
evaluated to determine their impact.
Delaware County Community and Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin have
taken yet another approach to incorporating TQM into instruction by developing
faculty in-service training programs. These programs are designed to provide
in-service training, support, and facilitation of faculty teams by involving
faculty in planning and evaluating TQM (Heverly, 1994, Needham, Staas, and
Zilinksy, 1992). Fox Valley Technical College has developed guidelines for
excellence in instruction and curriculum. Quality tools and strategies are
taught in an advanced state of training with the expectation that faculty will
use them to continuously improve the instructional process. The "course is an
interactive, collaborative seminar designed to explore competency-based
curriculum development and flexible delivery techniques in the context of a
quality-based institution. It includes concepts of quality and common
directions, customer service, team work, and problem solving for improving
THE ROLE OF ADMINISTRATORS
In order for TQM to become
functional in the classroom and practiced in faculty evaluation, it is important
that administrators facilitating the TQM process at their institutions
recognize, reward, and reinforce faculty performance in the classroom.
In concert with the TQM approach, administrators at Edison Community College
and Savannah Technical Institute chose to root evaluations in a developmental
framework in which fear and surprises were removed from the evaluation process
and communication was expanded (Coady, Hair, and Spanbauer, 1994). Rooting
evaluation in a developmental framework requires training in the underlying
philosophy of the system, techniques of rating and forms completion, and the
basic skills of appraisal interviewing (Centra, 1979). According to Gibson
(1992), an administrator will need to exhibit a positive and constructive
attitude and effective listening skills, possess adequate knowledge of the
faculty member's teaching functions, give reflective feedback, ask open-ended
questions, and engage in joint goal-setting.
In addition, administrators must ensure that faculty evaluation is based on
objectives and goals commensurate with TQM principles. The evaluation should
include faculty observation, quantitative measures of student achievement of
specific goals and objectives, measurement of the faculty member's use of
instructional methodologies, and control and direction of classroom behaviors
(Smith and Barber, 1994). Guided by emphasis on continuous quality improvement,
systematic evaluation and recognition of effective teaching by administrators
ultimately can enhance student learning and development.
Implementing the TQM principle of continuous
quality improvement in the classroom and including it as part of the faculty
evaluation process is a challenging task for those working in two-year
colleges--a challenge that must be met if TQM is to succeed in improving the
quality of undergraduate education in community colleges. Research to date has
found that while some faculty will (and do) experiment with TQM, many are
resistant to it as a viable approach to quality improvement. Ensuring that
administrators have the necessary skills and training to evaluate classroom
teaching is one means for easing faculty discomfort and resistance while
promoting the quality of teaching in community college classrooms.
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