Peer Review of Teaching

Peer review of teaching involves academic colleagues giving and receiving feedback on their teaching and its effectiveness in promoting student learning. It can be used alongside student feedback, through surveys and evaluations, to provide alternative insights to help with teaching and professional development.

Our influence on student learning may occur in lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratories and through the resources that we provide. Both face-to-face teaching and teaching resources are suitable for peer review.

Peer Review of Face-to-Face Teaching

Observing the styles, techniques and tricks used by others is a great and time efficient way of enhancing teaching. Similarly, having a colleague observe our own lecturing is a good way to get rapid feedback on things that do and do not work and is often more useful at a practical level than student surveys. Formal and informal peer observation schemes are used throughout the world as a means of ensuring and enhancing quality.

Peer review is a confidential and two-way process with a trusted colleague. It involves observing and being observed and a discussion on any issues that arise. It is for improvement of teaching and sharing of good ideas: it is not a performance review.

Peer Review for 'Principles and Practice'

Peer observation forms the Faculty of Science component of the Principles and Practice of University Teaching and Learning program. Please contact the for help in organising a suitable partner in your School or discipline area.

A typical review cycle might involve:

  • a pre-review meeting to discuss the outcomes of the class to be observed
  • observation and review of the class
  • post-review meeting to discuss any feedback
  • completion of an agreed report

The new staff member should have an opportunity to be observed and to act as an observer.

It is advisable to have at least 2 cycles of peer observation to allow for an opportunity to build on any feedback. The peer review of face-to-face teaching forms should be used to assist this process. Once the process is complete, the staff member should complete the form on the final page and forward it to the .

The completed peer review should become part of or be used to begin a teaching portfolio.

Peer Review as Evidence of Teaching Excellence

Peer observation and review of teaching may be used as one source of evidence to support an application for an award or for promotion. To be useful in this regard, it is important that the feedback be made in relation to the award or promotion criteria. It is also preferable that the reviewer be a colleague with experience and knowledge in the discipline and who is acknowledged as having expertise in the particular area of teaching on which the case is being based. The peer review of face-to-face teaching forms may be useful to assist in this process.

The completed peer review may become part of a teaching portfolio.

Peer Review of Teaching Resources

Reviewing the style, content, techniques and variety of teaching resources used by others is a great and time efficient way of enhancing the effectiveness of your own material. Similarly, having a colleague review your resources is a good way to get rapid feedback on things that do and do not work and is often more useful at a practical level than student surveys. Formal and informal peer review of teaching resources schemes are used throughout the world as a means of ensuring and enhancing quality.

Alongside lecture notes, tutorial worksheets and laboratory handbooks, this review should include online resources and unit websites on the Learning Management System.

As with observation of class teaching, peer review of teaching resources may be used as one source of evidence to support an application for an award or for promotion. The peer review of teaching resources forms may be useful to assist in this process.

The completed peer review may become part of a teaching portfolio.