The Peer Observation Program pairs faculty members who are interested in getting feedback on their teaching with a faculty partner from another department. The faculty members visit each other’s classrooms two times during the semester and share observations. Participants from previous semesters have found the experience helpful and invigorating. Their advice is, “You don’t have to be an expert teacher to both learn and to provide useful feedback.”
Nor do peers have to be familiar with your subject matter. You may believe that you cannot get useful feedback from someone outside your department; however, faculty who have been involved in peer review report that colleagues outside one’s department can have an experience closer to that of the students, observing things someone in the department could not. Participants also found teaching approaches to borrow from those they observed in other departments. Sometimes it is useful just for someone to remind us to write bigger on the board or to look for students trying to ask questions from the back of the room.
Peer assignments are made in early fall and spring (look for an announcement on the faculty email list).
- A pre-observation meeting led by the program facilitators will orient you to the program.
- Pairs generally observe twice per semester; once prior to break and once following break. Following each observation pairs meet to discuss their feedback.
- An optional end of semester meeting allows TLCCP to obtain general feedback about the Peer Observation program.
The Peer Observation Program is intended as a format for formative review, providing non-judgmental observation and constructive comments to improve teaching.
To participate in the Peer Observation Program, please contact Nancy Gamso.
Comments from Recent Participants
- “…I loved being able to see how someone else teaches.”
- “It was really helpful to find out how the students might be seeing me.”
- “Some very helpful insights about how/what could be done to be more effective in teaching.”
- “[I enjoyed] watching the evolution of class/instructor interactions.”
- “[I enjoyed] seeing another teaching style.”