Implementing departmental peer observation of teaching in universities



Publication Details

Bell, M. & Cooper, P. (2014). Implementing departmental peer observation of teaching in universities. In J. Sachs & M. Parsell (Eds.), Peer Review of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (pp. 151-164). Netherlands: Springer.


We begin this chapter with a brief review of peer observation and the many benefits it brings. These include not only the direct benefit to the observee of the observer's feedback but also less tangible benefits such as the reinforcement of collegial culture, and the opportunity for academics from diverse cultures to learn new approaches as well as to share their own traditions. We then present practical guidelines for implementing a departmental peer observation program, emphasising some key elements such as the benefit of preparatory workshops; getting participation from senior management; and integration with existing administrative protocols such as promotion processes. We also discuss some traps to be avoided, such as allowing the wrong impression to form about the purpose of the process

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