Measuring productivity

One of my 5 year goals is to improve my productivity by 20%.  How will I measure success with this goal?   Well, the most obvious place to start is with my other two goals in Research and Instruction excellence. 

How to measure research productivity?  I could measure the number of publications per year.  I can always crank up the number of hours devoted to research.  But that does not mean I have increased my productivity.  It definitely means I have increased my time commitment, but it must be done at the expense of other values.  I consider productivity as output/input, but for me, my input is primarily time, so we can simplify productivity as output/time.  To improve productivity, I either have to increase my output in the same amount of time or decrease the time it takes to output the same amount.  Output in this case can include both quality and quantity.  My options:
  1. I can improve the quality of my research - measured by publications in higher quality journals.
  2. I can improve the quantity of my research - measured by the number of publications.
  3. I can reduce the time it takes to complete my research - measured in the time spent researching.
  4. A combination of all three.
If my current rate of research productivity is 1 average article a year, I can improve that by publishing more often, publishing higher quality articles, or continue my current publishing objective with less time invested.  While my university has certain expectations for publishing (at least 5 articles prior to tenure), I am not letting that be my benchmark.  Rather, I picked this university because their benchmark coincided with my already selected goals.  Up until recently, my thoughts were on improving on the third option, reducing time.  However, I came to a realization that the best way to reduce the time was to learn how to write and research better.  To do that, I need to consider options one and two as well.  So I have started a new research project aimed at a high quality journal.  My expectation are that the knowledge and skills learned from working on this project will help me reduce the time necessary for subsequent projects.

Instruction excellence was also an interesting.  How should I measure productivity in instruction?  For me, the output is similar to research.  I can:
  1. I can improve the quality of my instruction - measured with current conceptual understanding and long-term rention. 
  2. I can improve the quantity of my instruction - measured with my reach to more students.  If I can extend conceptual understanding to more students simultaneously, the more productive my instruction efforts will be. 
  3. I can reduce the time to prepare the classroom environment and evaluate results. 
  4. A combintation of all three.
How can I measure conceptual understanding?  Perhaps the best way is by their ability to write about the concepts, which unfortunately is difficult to track over time and very time consumming.  A new possibility, which I have been exploring, is using concept maps.  If concepts map evaluation can be automated, that will alleviate a major time hurdle.  My focus at this point is on the first, improving quality.  However, I am looking at the third optoin as well so as to enable the second.

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