I continue to share brief lessons from the modules in Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching.
Session 1, 2024 enrolment is open now. You can sign up at https://canvas.instructure.com/register and use the following join code: FPXJJW.

Peer review of teaching is Module 17 and part of the Enhancing Your Teaching pathway through the course.

Developed by Dr Christa Jacenyik-Trawöger (CAULLT) and Honorary Associate Professor Marina Harvey (Macquarie University), this module explores the role of formative peer review of teaching in continuous professional development and learning.

Formative peer review of teaching is a process whereby peers observe and comment on the qualitative aspects of a colleague’s teaching and learning. Peer review is about looking at teaching practice as a continual process of improvement informed by ourselves, our peers, our students, and the scholarly literature.

Three models for peer review

The module offers three possible models for peer review of teaching:

1. Dyad or Buddy system

A popular form is a ‘buddy system’ where two colleagues agree to act as reviewer and reviewee, observer and observed. The peer review takes place followed by a reversal of the roles at a later date.

2. Team of three

A happy medium is a review organised within teams of three. Each colleague is observed at least once.

3. Circle system

Another system is the ‘circle’ where colleague A observes colleague B, colleague B observes C, and so on around the team until all have been observed.

Four step process for undertaking peer review

Teachers are guided through a four-step process for undertaking peer review of teaching – briefing, review, post-review and reflection – with templates, questions, a checklist, and hints and tips.

This four-step process is based on the idea that the reviewee learns and improves their teaching by receiving feedback from the reviewer. Another option is to learn by observing an experienced colleague. In this case, you obtain permission from a colleague to observe them or to get access to their lesson plans or other teaching artefacts. You then observe their teaching or review their teaching artefacts and compare the way they teach or construct their teaching artefacts to your own. You learn from them by reflecting on what you have observed.

Put your peer review of teaching skills into practice by providing feedback to the economics teacher in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

What do you notice in this teacher’s practice? How would you phrase your constructive feedback?

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Previous posts in this MOOC series

Posted by Agnes Bosanquet

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