Peer observation of teaching in university departments: A framework for implementation
Academics in an engineering school at an Australian university participated in peer observation of a teaching program using a partnership approach. The present case study explains and discusses program aims, design, process and outcomes. The success of the program was dependent on four critical elements: educational leadership; a staged, voluntary, opt-in/out-out process involving a hands-on preparatory workshop and trial observation; partnering early-career and experienced academic staff; and an ‘external to faculty’ coordinator. The importance of these four elements, the stages of the program and the impact on the development of collegiality within the school and aspects of the teaching role are discussed. This case offers further insights into the complexities of peer observation of teaching and a tested framework for introducing peer observation of teaching programs within schools and departments.