Peer Observation and Review of Teaching takes off in Health Sciences

Peer review of teaching
Peer review of teaching

Do you want to improve your teaching with some constructive feedback from your peers?

An expanded Peer Observation and Review of Teaching program is being run in the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2017 and all teaching staff have been invited to participate.

The aim of the program is to improve the quality and effectiveness of students’ learning experiences and the quality of learning outcomes for all students in the Faculty through enhancing teaching. It has been greeted enthusiastically by teaching staff in the Faculty with lots of discussion and interest in participating. As part of the program, the Faculty looked at what was happening at other universities in Australia and overseas and found that three-quarters of Australian universities have some form of peer review of teaching program and that it has been adopted in many universities globally.

The launch

The program was launched on 14 February by the Associate Dean Education, Associate Professor Corinne Caillaud, at an open lunch-time forum at Lidcombe. Professor Caillaud said:

I believe that this program will enable us to improve the students learning experience and also to increase our unit of study survey scores, one of our key performance indicators. This is a unique opportunity to engage as a Faculty into a culture of sharing and discussing what works really well with our teaching. But also to share less successful initiatives and build on this knowledge.

The workshop

Following the launch, over 40 teaching staff attended the initial workshop designed to prepare them for the program which will begin in earnest as Semester 1 takes off.

In the weeks following, staff will be able to gain confidence in participating in peer review through observing their more experienced peers and being observed by a trusted colleague. The Faculty will run the workshop again in the mid-semester break.

Teaching in computer lab
Teaching at Sydney

A teacher’s influence on student learning happens in lectures, tutorials, clinical workshops and laboratories and in online learning. It also occurs through the resources and assessments that are provided. So not only face-to-face teaching, but also online teaching, teaching resources, and assessments are suitable for peer review.

Students listening to a seminar
Observing a seminar

Peer review of teaching involves academic colleagues giving and receiving feedback on their teaching and its effectiveness in promoting student learning. It can be used alongside student feedback (such as through surveys and evaluations) to provide alternative insights to help with teaching and professional development. Peer review is a confidential two-way process with a trusted colleague. It involves observing and being observed and a discussion afterwards about what occurred in the class.

Find out more about the Faculty’s Peer Observation and Review of Teaching program.

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