Peer Appraisal of Teaching
Peer appraisal is a core part of our quality control it provides a mechanism for:
- monitoring the quality of our educational provision and performance of the instructor(s),
- professional recognition of the variation of modules in innate difficulty and presentation,
- identifying alternative approaches to delivery of material,
- the identification of good practice.
Peer Group discussion, informed by observation, provides:
- a forum for constructive discussion of alternative teaching methods,
- informed feedback to teaching staff,
- a means of the disseminating and formulating best practice, both within the group and to the department as a whole.
The system is based on the University Guidelines: Peer Review
of Teaching and Evaluating
It is desirable that the lessons learned through the Peer Appraisal
process should be disseminated to all staff within the department. Taking
into account that some level of confidentiality assists the Peer
Appraisal process, the following procedure is to be followed.
It must be emphasised that this should be a constructive exercise at all levels.
All teaching will be monitored by peer observation: staff who, for example, give only
tutorials, will observe tutorials but not lectures; staff from other
establishments, employed to give specialist courses, will not normally
be required to observe others or participate in the group discussions.
The aim is to ensre that
within the academic year each member of the with teaching responsibilities is observed in all
aspects (lectures, tutorials, problems classes, etc.) at least
once during the year, with at least one observation in each semester.
The allocation of observations will be prioritised and assigned by the Director of Education on
a random basis. Reciprocal (i.e. A does B, and B
does A) observation should be avoided if reasonably practical. Repeated observation (i.e. A does B two years in a row) should
also be avoided.
Observations will normally take place between weeks T1:04 and T1:08 of Term 1
and weeks T2:04 and T2:08 of Term 2 except where an aspect of teaching
can only be observed outside these periods.
Observers will give notice of their observation which should be recorded
on, and follow the protocol indicated by the report forms:
This process is described in more detail in the University
Guidelines: Peer Review of Teaching. Note that this scheme requires that the subject briefs the observer before the session.
Feedback and Reflection
Observers will discuss the observation report with the staff member
involved. Reflections on the observations by the staff member comprise the last section of the
Peer Group Discussion
The reports will also be discussed and evaluated within the framework of the Monitoring of Modules
A copy of each individual observation reports must be returned to the
Education Support Office in the Physics Building. They will
be treated as 'reserved' documents; they will form part of the
confidential records, e.g. for Programme Review and similar
Quality Assurance purposes.
See also: Annual Monitoring of Programmes and Modules.