Measuring Teaching: A Relative Value Scale in Teaching
Background: The teaching provided by medical school faculty members has not to date been measured systematically. To address this shortcoming, we propose the Relative Value Scale in Teaching (RVST). Description: RVST assigns a relative weight to each teaching activity. Each teacher accrues relative value units (RVUs) for each teaching activity according to the formula, RVU = hours x weight. Total RVUs for each teacher are then summed. Evaluation: Feedback was provided by faculty focus groups, relating the activities of diverse types of teachers to a common point of reference, and seeking to attain consensus among the faculty. Conclusions: RVST provides a quantitative instrument for measuring the teaching activities of faculty. This instrument can be used for setting teaching expectations; for promotion and tenure decisions; for compensating teachers for teaching; for balancing teaching responsibilities among the faculty; and for distributing college funds among the departments.