Peer Observation of Teaching

Good teachers continually learn and develop. Peer Review, which combines the examination of course materials with in-class observations and collegial discussion, helps prompt this learning among faculty. Ideally, these interactions and conversations can create opportunities for us as colleagues to reflect on and adapt our teaching practices in order to become better teachers and increase student learning.  Learn More

This information aims to assist each department in developing a customized system of Peer Review appropriate to its particular discipline. We envision the following steps in developing this customized system:

Step 1:  Framing Departmental Discussions:  The academic department addresses key questions and decisions about core purposes, terms, and practices associated with its specific peer review process.

Step 2:  Implementing Peer Observation of Teaching:  Peer observation, a vital part of peer review, generally consists of pre-observation, observation, and post-observation and may include a reflective summary.

STEP 1: FRAMING DEPARTMENTAL DISCUSSIONS


The UT System cites two purposes for peer review of teaching:

1.  Formative peer review of teaching to help instructors enhance teaching and learning in their courses. 

2.  Summative peer review of teaching to evaluate and assess as part of a formal reward system used in merit, promotion, and tenure decisions.

These two purposes are discrete but complementary. Learn More

Additional questions for departmental discussion are included below:

Additional resources for departmental discussion are included below:

STEP 2: IMPLEMENTING PEER OBSERVATION OF TEACHING


Pre-Observation

Pre-observation is a two-part process consisting of 1) closely examining the course materials an instructor has organized to support student learning, and 2) engaging in purposeful conversation with the instructor about class expectations and context that will be the focus of the observation.  Learn More

Observation

A focused and purposeful inquiry into observable individual and group behaviors in a specific class to help instructor and observer “see” teaching and learning from a different perspective. Learn More

Post-Observation

The post-observation is a follow-up meeting of the observer and instructor to bring impressions from the materials review and observation together in a mutual conversation about teaching and learning. Learn More

Reflective Summary

A reflective summary is a brief, written analysis by the instructor and possibly the peer observer of what was learned about teaching and student learning.  Learn More