What is Peer Review of Teaching?
Peer review of teaching in universities involves academic colleagues giving and receiving feedback on their teaching practices and its effectiveness in promoting student learning … [Peer Review draws] on the knowledge and insights of university colleagues, peer review can recognise and accommodate diversity in approaches to teaching, curricula and disciplinary contexts. While often equated with classroom observation, peer review can cover the full range of teaching activities and environments including assessment, the development of teaching and learning resources, curriculum design, online teaching, clinical and other field-based teaching. This further complements systematically collected evaluation from students, which tends to focus on their experience in the classroom." (Harris et al, 2008, p.5)
Peer review of teaching is one of a number of methods or techniques that can be used to gather evidence about one's teaching. It is recognised as an important contributor to the ongoing evaluation and enhancement of learning and teaching, as well as a process to recognise excellence. Other methods to gather evidence include critical self evaluation of teaching and formal collection of student evaluations (including eVALUate).
Such evidence, from a variety of sources, is the key to continuous quality improvement in teaching, and documented proof that self improvement is taken seriously by you.
The Guide to Peer Review of Teaching [DOC] provides information, advice and a variety of tools to assist staff carry out a peer review of their teaching. The Quality Matters program also offers a range of resources, courses and processes to support you to undertake formal peer review as either a reviewer or a reviewee.
For information on how self and peer review of teaching can articulate with development of a teaching record and portfolio, see the University's Guide to Teaching Record and Teaching Portfolio [PDF].
It should be emphasised that peer and self review of teaching is not a 'once off' activity – long-term engagement with the process is necessary if real benefit and improvement in teaching & learning is to result.
Strategy for Institutional-level Peer Review
This strategy was approved by Academic Senate in September of 2015.
This link provides a downloadable PDF of the Strategy for Institutional-level Peer Review.
Harris, K-L, Farrell, K., Bell, M., Devlin, M. & James, R. (2008). Peer Review of Teaching in Higher Education: A handbook to support institutions in developing and embedding effective policies and practices. Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Available from:http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/research/teaching/docs/PeerReviewHandbook_eVersion.