Teaching Excellence at UVU

Piloting two tools to strengthen teaching portfolios

Watch the guidance screencast created by Dr. Suzy Cox, former RTP&A Chair

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Teaching Excellence Model

At the center of UVU's culture is excellence in teaching to foster student success. The Teaching Excellence Model (TEM) establishes a university expectation around teaching excellence while preserving the uniqueness and academic freedom of academic units and instructors. The TEM aligns to existing policies, strategic initiatives, and UVU's action commitments of Include, Engage, and Achieve. It provides a framework to showcase your teaching evidence on validated measures of effective instruction (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

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Teaching Observation Form

Instructional feedback and meta-cognitive reflection support student learning at Utah Valley University. The observation process captures formative feedback applicable to any teaching modality and specifically aligns with the pillars of UVU’s Teaching Excellence Model: Include, Engage, Achieve.

The teaching observation process and form serve to provide evidence of ongoing development of teaching excellence based on validated measures of effective instruction (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

Additional factors may also be considered during review based on the faculty member’s goals and/or the observer’s expertise. 

Step 1: Plan



  • Use the Teaching Excellence Model and the Teaching Observation Form to determine relevant feedback needs to guide the reviewer.
  • Provide contextual evidence for the reviewer such as the course syllabus, alignment of learning activities with course objectives, and/or documentation of effective instruction.
  • Communicate with the reviewer to establish the observation time and place as well as the post-observation meeting.


  • Examine contextual evidence provided by the instructor.
  • Attend to specific feedback needs suggested by the instructor.
  • Collaborate with the instructor to determine logistical details for the observation and the post-observation meeting.

Step 2: Observe (Link to Form)


  • Use the Teaching Observation form to guide the observation session.
  • For distance education, the instructor may meet with the reviewer to view the online lesson, or the instructor can obtain course access for the reviewer.
  • For face-to-face observations, the reviewer should view the teaching session at the agreed upon time.

The reviewer should record notes in the online Teaching Observation Form during the observation session.​

Preview of Teaching Observation Form


Step 3: Build


Post-observation collaboration provides for a dialogue between the instructor and the reviewer. Important aspects of the dialogue should include:

  • Amplify evidence of teaching effectiveness.
  • Clarify any concerns noted by the reviewer.
  • Edit the Teaching Observation Form to reflect the final comments to be included and the slider bar rating associated with each area of focus.
  • Discuss opportunities for improvement.
  • Record any feedback from the instructor related to the comments and ratings.

Save and submit the document.​

Step 4: Share


  • The reviewer submits the Teaching Observation Form, which automatically emails the completed document to the instructor.
  • The instructor can download and share electronic copies with members of the Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee and/or their supervisor(s).
  • The reviewer can redact instructor information and save the review as an example of collegial service.​
For further information contact Jonathan Allred, Chair, Senate Advancement of Teaching Committee, Jonathan.Allred@uvu.edu