Performance Assessment: facilitator and a valuable tool In Education

Employee performance assessment is a critical issue. Managing and motivating employees through the evaluation of their performance remains an issue on the agenda.

The performance evaluation must, however, accompany the new ways of working. The new ways of communicating require new forms of evaluation in all sectors of activity.

This is the only way to achieve the objectives of this process: motivating employees. However, a study by the Gallup consultancy reminds us, only 2 out of 10 employees consider that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do a good job.

In teaching, teachers face the same challenges. The performance evaluation of teachers, according to the Teaching Career Statute (ECD), (n.º 2, of article 40.º), “aims at improving the quality of the educational service and student learning. And it provides guidelines for personal and professional development within the framework of a system of recognition of merit and excellence”.

Several career studies indicate, in fact, the importance of experience. Work experience (which includes performance feedback) accounts for about 70% of professional development relevant to career advancement. While 15%, according to studies, depend on formal training.

Value and Measure Performance Assessment

The new system for evaluating the performance of teaching staff aims to measure and value the activities of teachers.

A task that is currently facilitated by collaborative platforms such as the Collaborator Portal. In the Employee Portal it is possible to centralize all the information necessary for the evaluation of the teacher.

The Portal allows you to insert the activities of teachers and criteria under evaluation, as many as necessary, defined by each teaching entity. In the Portal, in a simple and intuitive way, Technical-Scientific, Pedagogical and Organizational activities are added.

Then, according to regulation, they are weighted according to defined intervals (the sum of the three dimensions being 100%).

In the pedagogical dimension, the following can be included in the Employee Portal, for example: teaching activity; participation in academic activities; teaching extracurricular training; attendance at teaching and meeting deadlines related to teaching.

The technical-scientific dimension can encompass: academic training, participation in research projects and events in the scientific areas of the study cycles; representation of the educational establishment related to the technical-scientific dimension.

The organizational dimension can include elements related to participation in collegiate bodies and managerial positions; coordination’s; other unpaid positions; attendance.

What are the reference elements of the Performance Assessment?

In short:

-The objectives and goals set in the educational project of the grouping/school;

– The parameters established for each of the evaluation dimensions;

– The parameters established for the external evaluation, defined in Order no. 24/2012, of 26 October.

Platform with good performance

All assessment elements need to be considered and kept securely so that they are not used for any purpose other than the one for which they were collected.

It is important to point out that the Teaching Career Statute establishes that the performance evaluation process is confidential.

Therefore, the docents' performance evaluation documentation integrated into the platform obeys the term “administrative document”.

The confidentiality of the process of evaluating the performance of teachers is equivalent to the confidentiality required in the process of evaluating the performance of workers performing public functions. Personal contacts, for example, do not impact the assessment.

They must therefore be properly concealed. The access of personal data by third parties, without the consent of the data subject, obeys specific criteria. And these rules are taken by the platforms for evaluating the performance of teachers. More than an option, it is a legal advantage to protect personal data in HR – and this is possible with the Uniksystem Contributor Portal.

Access to Performance Assessment documents

It is necessary, however, that the professors have access to the documents referring to the evaluation.

The Committee on Access to Administrative Documents (CADA) establishes that the minutes of the Evaluation Coordinating Council may be made known to the elements that are in the performance evaluation process, in case they need to challenge their own evaluations.

Optimize Performance Assessment Information

The platforms used in the process of evaluation and performance of teachers allow optimizing information. As well as contributing to the continuous improvement of the activity, in line with the teaching entity.

The Contributor Portal is therefore a very useful tool in this process. Among other aspects, educational establishments can insert parameters that will ensure the evaluation of teachers:

– Investigation;

– Teaching;

– Administrative and academic management tasks;

– University extension activities, community services, transfer and enhancement of knowledge.

But not all teachers are always evaluated using the same methodology. The Employee Portal takes into account that the weights may be different for Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Full Professors, Guest Professors, Guest Assistants and monitors.

It should be remembered that the performance evaluation of teachers is carried out on a three-year basis, and refers to the performance of the previous three calendar years. Teachers cannot be more than three consecutive years without being evaluated.

Evaluation cycles

In the 5th grade, the assessment cycle lasts 2 years. In the remaining levels, the assessment cycle lasts 4 years. The teaching performance evaluation process is concluded in the school year prior to the change in grade.

Teachers' rights

The evaluation of teachers' performance is a very important instrument for educational establishments that defend quality in all areas of activity.

In general, educational establishments intend to affirm pedagogy and emphasize the appreciation of the work carried out by teachers.

Each educational establishment adopts a specific regulation that governs the evaluation process. It is essential to provide that teachers have the right to an objective, rigorous and fair performance evaluation. Teachers therefore have the right to

– self-evaluation;

– complaint to the approval authority;

– Impeachment

Self-Assessment: Collaborative Platform

The teacher performance assessment phase includes self-assessment. Self-assessment consists of inserting information (areas) on the platform that the teacher considers relevant and that portray their activity in the three-year period under evaluation.

These elements are thus placed in an area of ​​restricted access to teachers. The validation follows, which can be done by a Commission created for this purpose and also with access to the platform.

A collaborative platform such as the Collaborator Portal even allows the import of documents such as the Curriculum Vitae. And it also allows indicators to be pre-populated, just for the teacher to confirm that they are correct.

The collaborative platform manages a wide range of information.

But it also allows processing specific situations, such as access to the classifications in the aspects for teachers who were, during the evaluation period, on sabbatical leave (or other leave). Or for teachers who were, for example, sick.

How is the teacher's performance assessment score calculated?

The teacher's score in each strand considers the scores of all the strand indicators in the period under evaluation.

And this calculation can obey several formulas defined and implemented by the platform.

The supporting computer application allows the automatic calculation of the final evaluation of each teacher.

The final grade of teaching performance is generally: Excellent, Very Good

Good or Not Relevant. And it is determined by a system of rules.

Other phases of the professors' performance evaluation process are considered: Hearing, in which the professor can comment on the final classification. Approval and Complaint.

Very good

The attribution of the mention of Very Good in an evaluation cycle determines the bonus of 6 months (180 days) in the progression in the teaching career, to be enjoyed in the next step.

If the teacher is positioned in the 4th or 6th step, this assessment also indicates the waiver of access to the 5th or 7th step, respectively.

Class Teacher Performance Assessment Observation?

Only teachers who wish to have access to the mention of Excellent should request class observation from the Director!

In the event of a high-risk pregnancy, for example, or other defined situations, teachers can observe classes when they return to teaching duties.

What is the weight of the classes observed in the performance evaluation? It is also a parameter that can be considered in a simple way in the Contributor Portal. External evaluation represents 70% of the percentage foreseen for the scientific and pedagogical dimension.

Teachers on a probationary period, those positioned in the 2nd and 4th grades and those who obtained a mention of Insufficient, are exempt from the requirement to observe classes, as this is a mandatory requirement. But teachers positioned in the 2nd and 4th grades can also request it, namely if they wish to observe classes in the academic year prior to the one in which they will be evaluated.

Platforms - Simplicity!

The Employee Portal follows the entire performance evaluation journey. And it allows to implement the performance evaluation of teachers in a simple and effective way.

With defined objectives and indicators, the Employee Portal quantifies/evaluates the performance of teachers, ensuring simplified management of the entire process.

Special Performance Assessment Regime

This is the great advantage of using collaborative platforms: inserting criteria for special regimes without doubling the administrative efforts of the teams. The special regime applies

to teachers:

Positioned in the 8th step, provided that, in the assessments carried out under legislation prior to the date of entry into force of Decree-Law no. that, under the terms of Regulatory Decree no. 26/2012, have obtained at least the classification of Good;

Positioned in the 9th and 10th levels; Who exercise the functions of Deputy Director, Assistant, Director's Advisor, Curricular Department Coordinator and the Evaluator designated by him/her.

Teacher Performance Assessment: Continuing Education

Once again, you can pre-define requirements in the Employee Portal related to a relevant issue in the teachers' career: Continuing Education.

There are mandatory requirements that Continuing Education must comply with for the purposes of performance evaluation and progression. It is required that the component of continuous training involves at least 50% in the scientific and pedagogical dimension and that at least 4/5 of the training be accredited by the Scientific Pedagogical Council for Continuing Training.

These percentages can be part of the pre-defined items that the educational establishment inserts in the Employee Portal.

The Employee Portal allows the insertion of courses that count towards the fulfillment of the requirement of continuous training. Master's or doctoral courses, or the curricular part thereof, count. But they will have to be accredited as such by the Scientific-Pedagogical Council for Continuing Education (CCPFC).

Under the terms of the Legal Regime for the Continuing Training of Teachers in force, the CCPFC is responsible for the accreditation of training entities, trainers and ongoing teacher training actions. It is also responsible for the accreditation of specialized training courses.

Continuing training legislation can be consulted here, on the CCPFC website.

Online stocks count as short-lived stocks?

Order n.º 5741/2015, of 29 May, refers, for the purposes foreseen in the Teaching Career Statute (ECD), the participation in short-term training actions related to professional practice, such as seminars, conferences, thematic days and other scientific and pedagogical events with a minimum duration of three hours and a maximum of six hours.

That is, it may include short-term online actions, if the request for recognition complies with the provisions of the Order above.

Why Evaluate Data: Performance Evaluation

The evaluation of teachers is considered for the purposes of:

– hiring of career teachers for an indefinite period;

– Change in remuneration;

Only teachers positioned in the 10th step who requested retirement can request exemption from the assessment.

Complain about performance evaluation

The Employee Portal provides for each step of the Performance Assessment. The teachers' complaint is a step also included in Uniksystem's collaborative tool.

After completing the performance evaluation process, teachers can file a complaint about their evaluation. This is a formal process that, in the case of educational establishments that use the Collaborator Portal, may involve the submission of some documents on the platform. Documents may be:

— copy of the global assessment communication form;

— copy of the evaluation record of the development of activities carried out in the dimensions provided for in article 4 of DR 26/2012 (which contains the descriptors/parameters applied in each domain and dimension);

— number of teachers evaluated in that year, by universe;

— number of merit mentions that the AE/ENA has to award, in each universe defined in Order 12567/2012 and in total;

— quantitative classification attributed to the last teacher evaluated with each mention of merit (non-nominative information) in each universe;

— opinion of the External Evaluator on the Performance Self-Assessment Report(s);

— copy of the Guides / Grids for observation of the scientific and pedagogical dimension, corresponding to the two moments of observation of classes, filled in by the external evaluator, including the classifications assigned;

— minutes of the meeting between the internal evaluator and the external evaluator to articulate the final result of the evaluation of the scientific and pedagogical dimension;

— minutes of the meeting of the Teaching Performance Assessment Section of the Pedagogical Council (SADD) in order, under the terms of no. 4 of article 21 of Normative Order no. 26/2012, to analyze and harmonize the evaluators' proposals and ensure the application of performance differentiation percentages, provided for in article 20 of the same diploma.

Performance Assessment in Higher Education

For higher education establishments, the process of evaluating the performance of teachers is essential for the entity to reorient its teachers and also its development plans.

The performance evaluation will contribute to the improvement of the teaching staff of the higher education institution. And it will allow the various stakeholders a moment of listening, sharing and decision-making.

Feedback, positive or negative, is an opportunity for growth. And it can strengthen relationships of trust and leadership in the institution. Institutions must prepare to implement their performance evaluation systems with transparency.

The choice of auxiliary tools for this process is important. The Employee Portal can reinforce the simplicity of the procedure. Performance appraisal requires detailed planning. Only in this way will it be possible to increase the quality within the organization, improve professional, personal relationships and the organizational environment.

The Teacher Performance evaluation regime has not escaped criticism as bureaucratized and, at times, unfair. Since, it is alleged, the quota system provides inequalities with teachers from different schools. Teachers who, although with a lower classification, end up having a higher mention.

We believe that supporting the Benchmarking on an intuitive and simple platform can help simplify the process. Reducing administrative and Human Resources work, the Collaborator Portal can work as a very efficient tool in the education system.

by Célia Barata – RegTech & HR Business Manager @Uniksystem

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