Peer Review of Teaching
Peer review of teaching is an opportunity to gather feedback from a trusted colleague in a supportive peer environment. With good structures, clear boundaries, guidance and support, the process will support and encourage the development of professional practice. Peer review can be done face to face, in blended and online environments through mechanisms such as observation, review of learning resources, assessment design, site administration and management.
Peer review can be used in a formative way to give and receive feedback on an aspect of online and blended teaching and learning practice. It's personal and often confidential, ensuring both privacy and trust are maintained. It encourages collegiality. When feedback is practical and detailed, it can be very helpful. For example, a colleague may question the ordering of slides in a presentation and ask whether the main points are given too soon. This can help you reconsider how to present a difficult concept.
Feedback can be used in a summative way for proof of professional learning and as evidence for important career processes such as recruitment and promotion.
To assist staff with designing their own peer reviews the Centre for Teaching and Learning provides a range of templates for use. Peer reviews that target specific areas of teaching are of most use in a feedback situation and the feedback templates provided below can be adapted to give the focus you want.
For the results of peer review to really mean something, they need to be conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The relationship is critical, as giving and receiving feedback is an art. There needs to be good understanding between the reviewer and the reviewed. When giving feedback, balance positive and negative comments and consider the power of your words. People commonly focus more on negative feedback and can overlook anything else, so a planned approach to feedback that is structured and targeted will help guide that.
As a reviewee, listen carefully; take a step back and consider the advice being given. Remember, this isn't personal. It's about how to make your teaching better, from a colleague who is there to support and encourage you. A good mentor is a strong friend who walks alongside, helping you achieve your goals.