Top tips for a beneficial peer review of teaching
1. Recognise the benefits. Determine to make the most of the opportunity this confidential exchange provides both colleagues for a professional dialogue about teaching practice.
2. Be organised. Make early contact with your peer review partner.
3. Identify a focus. When preparing to be reviewed, carefully consider which aspects of the session you would particularly like to discuss.
4. Be prepared. As the reviewer, take the opportunity to consider the context of the session you will be reviewing (e.g. have a look at the module site, review the assignment brief or assessment diet, or look at some feedback samples)
5. Plan to meet. Before the session, agree where and when you will meet afterwards for discussion. This should take place as soon as possible so everything is fresh in your minds.
6. Choose your spot. If it is a session observation, think about where you want your reviewer to sit so they can observe your activities as well as the responses of the students.
7. Communicate to the class. As the reviewee, consider how you will introduce the reviewer to the class. It is beneficial for students to understand that peer review is a key part of our professional development and an important aspect of quality enhancement within the University.
8. Discuss, don’t judge. As the reviewer, try not to make judgemental comments, notice what happens rather than your interpretation of it. Try to ask searching questions to prompt discussion eg “You chose to do X at one point, why was that? Can you explain what you were hoping to achieve by Y?” “How does Z link to other aspects of the module?” “In what way do you hope your online materials support student learning?”
9. Be open minded. As a reviewee try not to be defensive but see this discussion as a chance for you both to advance your understanding and skills.
10. Disseminate good practice. As well as completing the official feedback form (PRF3) consider how you can share what you have learned informally within your school e.g. at a lunchtime seminar or group discussion with colleagues.