Original Publication
Open Access

Educator Evaluation Guidelines

Published: January 9, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9072

Included in this publication:

  • Educator Evaluation Guidelines User's Manual.doc
  • Educator Evaluation Guidelines with examples.doc

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Too often, educators are disadvantaged in the promotion and tenure process because their roles are not well understood by committees, and methods to evaluate educator performance have not been standardized. These educator evaluation guidelines contribute to the construction of a framework for the academic promotion and advancement of educators. The guidelines were designed to assist members of promotion committees in the evaluation of medical school faculty by a systematic, objective, and criterion-based process, and to help educators understand the elements of performance by which they are evaluated.

To make the tool as accessible and usable as possible we avoided technical educational jargon, provided concrete indicators for each item, and illustrated items with copious examples. The guidelines include two tables with a total of 24 evaluation items distilled from our previously published, 36-item research tool for analysis of educator portfolios. That research tool was created by an iterative consensus development process and tested with live educator portfolios, so the items included in these guidelines have been well validated. The first table (19 items) is organized around five domains of educator performance: teaching, curriculum, advising/mentoring, educational leadership/administration, and learner assessment. The second table (five items) addresses the two components of scholarly activity: scholarly approach and educational scholarship. The five domains and two definitions of scholarly activity were confirmed by a consensus conference convened by the AAMC Group on Educational Affairs in 2009. Each domain is defined and elaborated with items for evaluation selected to capture quantity, quality, and impact of performance. For each evaluation item, several suggested indicators describe what kinds of evidence might earn credits for the educator and specific examples of high-quality performance are provided.

Evaluation of educators is not well captured by numerical measures only. Items in the guidelines are appropriate for both quantitative and qualitative assessment; quantitative items are labeled. Despite the difficulty of objectively evaluating qualitative measures, some elements of educational practice are best assessed based on their adherence to accepted educational principles, rather than by being counted. Thus, the guidelines encourage an educator evaluation that is flexible and takes a broad perspective on performance. The guidelines avoid a prescriptive approach. They do not include a rating system, because each institution needs to develop its own scoring approach based on the value it places on specific educator activities. We have left room for institutions to decide how many areas of excellence are expected of a faculty member in each promotion track and at each rank. However, the included User’s Manual discusses possible approaches to creating a rating system to accompany the 24-item evaluation tool.

Educational Objectives

By using these guidelines, evaluators will be able to:

  1. Systematically analyze the components of excellence in educator performance.
  2. Provide examples of appropriate documentation of excellence in specific educational domains.
  3. Discuss how an educator’s scholarly approach to education might be evaluated, mainly qualitatively, with reference to each domain of educational activity.
  4. Describe how an educator’s educational scholarship might be evaluated, mainly quantitatively, with reference to each domain of educational activity.

Author Information

  • Constance Baldwin, PhD: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Latha Chandran, MD, MPH: Stony Brook University
  • Maryellen Gusic, MD: Indiana University

None to report.

None to report.


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  5. Simpson D, Hafler J, Brown D, Wilkerson, Documentation systems for educators seeking academic promotion in US Medical Schools. Acad Med. 2004; 79:783-790. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00001888-200408000-00014
  6. Chandran L, Gusic M, Baldwin CD, Turner T, Zenni E, Lane L, Balmer D, Bar-on M, Rauch DA, Indyk D, Gruppen LD. Evaluating the performance of medical educators: A novel analysis tool to demonstrate the quality and impact of educational activities. Acad Med. 2009; 84:58-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0b013e31819045e2
  7. Chandran L, Gusic M, Baldwin C, Turner T, Zenni E, Lane J, et al. APA Educator Portfolio Analysis Tool. APA Educator Portfolio Analysis Tool. Approved by MedEdPORTAL; 2009. Available from: https://www.mededportal.org/publication/1659 Accessed 11-03-2011.
  8. Simpson D, Fincher RE, Hafler JP, et al. Advancing educators and education by defining the components and evidence associated with educational scholarship. Med Educ. 2007; 41(10):1002-1009 Epub 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02844.x 
  9. Simpson D, Fincher RE, Hafler JP, et al. Advancing Educators and Education: Defining the Components and Evidence of Educational Scholarship. Available at: https://members.aamc.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Action=Add&ObjectKeyFrom=1A83491A-9853-4C87-86A4-F7D95601C2E2&WebCode=PubDetailAdd&DoNotSave=yes&ParentObject=CentralizedOrderEntry&ParentDataObject=Invoice%20Detail&ivd_formkey=69202792-63d7-4ba2-bf4e-a0da41270555&ivd_prc_prd_key=5F2DA545-DAE0-4A44-94F4-A67C316E8FED Accessed 11-03-2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02844.x
  10. Gusic ME, Chandran L, Balmer DF, D'Alessandro DM, Baldwin CD. Educator Portfolio Template of the Pediatric Academic Societies' Educational Scholars Program. Approved by MedEdPORTAL; 2007. Available at: https://www.mededportal.org/publication/626 Accessed 11-03-2011.
  11. Baldwin CD, Gusic, ME, Chandran, L. The Educator Portfolio: A Tool for Career Development. AAMC Faculty Vitae, Winter 2008.
  12. Baldwin CD, Chandran, L, Gusic, ME. Guidelines for Evaluating the Educational Performance of Medical School Faculty: Priming a National Conversation. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 23:3, 285-297, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2011.586936


Baldwin C, Chandran L, Gusic M. Educator evaluation guidelines. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9072. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9072