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Peer Observation of Teaching

Historically, faculty have been more likely to share drafts of articles and grant proposals than to open classroom doors to colleagues—even though the resulting constructive feedback is equally helpful and invigorating.

Peer observation can help instructors help each other improve (what’s often called formative evaluation). The resources on this page focus on using peer observation for improvement, rather than for evaluation.

As we seek to enrich our teaching-evaluation methods beyond student evaluations, peer observation can also be adapted to provide summative evaluations for review, promotion, and/or tenure.

Departments or schools may opt to use or adapt the peer-observation process for either formative or summative evaluation—or for both. If for both, then it is recommended that the two processes be completely separate in order to maintain the collegiality and confidentiality connected with the formative process. Separating the two processes simply means that colleagues who observe for improvement are not asked to observe for evaluation.

Benefits of Formative Peer Observation: As coach, you can…as a teacher, you can…Read more>>


Observation Forms (which can be adapted for particular situations):

Ideas and Guidelines for Post-Observation Discussion: