Teaching Partners is a peer observation program that partners two faculty members and a Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) Associate Director to create a formative classroom observation experience. It provides faculty space to share good teaching practices and helps them improve their own classrooms by encouraging self-reflection.
Peer observation is nothing new. It is typically a summative process for departments to review teaching effectiveness or a formative process where faculty sit in on each other’s courses and offer feedback. Sometimes, it is a process that includes a faculty developer outside the department who observes teaching and shares feedback. Rarely do we see a true hybrid process like Teaching Partners.
Teaching Partners combines the formative review of faculty peers observing one another with a faculty developer to help facilitate the process and provide suggestions:
- Faculty partners set goals with the developer and then have their class recorded.
- This classroom recording is prepared by the developer and shared with the faculty partners so they can provide time-stamped feedback to each other.
- The developer then watches both courses and shares their thoughts on the videos.
- All three meet for a debrief to discuss the feedback and make concrete plans to integrate at least one new practice in their classroom.
- The program wraps up with the faculty reflecting on their overall experience.
Since its inception, participation in Teaching Partners has grown 200%, with over 95 faculty taking part.
For Further Reading
- Gosling, D. (2002). Models of peer observation of teaching. Generic Centre: Learning and Teaching Support Network. Retrieved, 8(10), 08.
- Gosling, D. (2013). Collaborative Peer-Supported Review of Teaching, in Peer Review of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: International Perspectives, J. Sachs & M. Parsell, Dordrecht, Springer, p. 13-31
- Rohrbacher, C. & McKee, J. (2019). “Asynchronous Electronic Feedback for Faculty Peer Review: Formative Feedback That Makes a Difference”. Handbook of Research on Faculty Development for Digital Teaching and Learning, Elçi, A., Beith, L., Elçi, A. (Eds.). IGI Global.
- Pembridge, J. & Rohrbacher, C. (forthcoming, Spring 2022). “Faculty Peer Review of Teaching for the 21st Century”. Handbook of STEM Faculty Development, Linder, S., Lee, C, High, K., and Stefl, L. Information Age Publishing.