• Effective
    Summative PR Steps

  • Peer Review Steps

  • Step 1: Pre-observation meeting

    Pre-observation meeting provides baseline information which will inform the reviewer’s observation of teaching and the subsequent post-observation discussion. So, the reviewer(s) should meet with the teacher prior to the teaching session for a briefing to identify specific issues or concerns the teacher may have regarding either their teaching or the review process. It may also be helpful to review course documents and teaching materials developed for the session, such as the Moodle site, handouts, assignments, PowerPoint slides and session plan.

    During the meeting, the reviewer(s) should find out from the teacher the course learning objectives, how the course fits into the programme, and what to anticipate during the class.

    Here are some questions that the reviewer(s) may wish to discuss with the teacher during the pre-observation meeting:

    The reviewers may wish to discuss with the reviewee:

    1. What do you want the students to learn in this teaching session?
    2. How does the session fit in with the overall course?
    3. What pre-class preparation (if any) do you expect the students to have done?
    4. What is year teaching strategy? What should I, as the reviewer expects to see?
    5. Are there specific aspects of the teaching session (e.g. interaction with students, content on slides, student engagement in class, etc.) on which you would like to receive feedback?

    The reviewer(s) should also briefly explain the observation process and make sure that the teacher understands the evaluation criteria listed on the peer review checklist.

    The reviewer(s) should avoid offering advice and save any suggestions for the post-observation meeting.

    During a pre-observation meeting for formative peer review of teaching, the reviewer can encourage the reviewee to share their motivation for initiating the peer review and what they would like to learn from the observation. The reviewee can invite the reviewer to attend a class which they experience difficulties in teaching, so that their colleague can help to brainstorm strategies which they can use to address those challenges.
  • Step 2: Observation of a teaching session

    Observation of the class provides an opportunity for the reviewer(s) to see the reviewee’s teaching in action and observe its impact on student learning. What the reviewer(s) observe in class will serve as evidence to support the conclusion they draw about the reviewee’s teaching. Thus, it is important for the reviewer(s) to pay close attention to everything happening in the classroom, including what the teacher is doing and what the students are doing, to ensure validity of their evaluation of teaching.
    The teacher should introduce the reviewer(s) to the class and explain their role. It is advisable for the reviewer(s) to sit at the back of the room so that they can have a good view of the whole class. The reviewer(s) should refrain from asking or answering questions, and from participating in in-class activities and discussions. However, they may listen in on students’ conversations during group work to get a sense of whether students know what they are doing. As the reviewer(s) observe a class, they should take notes to record their observation in relation to the criteria listed in the peer review checklist and take note of any questions they might have about what is happening.

    The reviewer(s) can focus on aspects of teaching which the teacher would like to receive feedback on based on the pre-observation meeting.
  • Step 3: Post-observation meeting

    Following the teaching observation, the reviewer(s) should have a meeting with the reviewee individually or jointly to discuss their evaluations of the class. The debriefing meeting is an opportunity for the reviewee to reflect on their teaching, for the reviewer(s) to ask questions to help them make better sense of their teaching observation and various aspects of the course, and to identify areas for improvement.
    To open the dialogue on the teaching performance, the reviewer(s)can begin the meeting by pointing out strengths in the reviewee’s teaching, and then use the following questions to prompt the reviewee’s reflection on their teaching:

    These questions may help guide the post-observation discussion:

    1. How do you think the session went? Did the session go as planned?
    2. What went especially well?
    3. What challenges did you encounter?
    4. Is there anything you would change the next time you teach this session?

    The reviewee should also ask questions to clarify their understanding of the course. Here are some examples of clarifying questions:

    • How do you ask students to prepare for class?
    • Why did you collect a reflective piece from students at the end of the class? Will you provide feedback to students on their reflective piece? If yes, how?
    • How do you assess the short answers which students wrote in class?

    Here are some tips on how to provide collegial feedback during the post-observation meeting:

  • Step 4: Reflections and action plan

    After the post-observation meeting, reviewers should complete the summative peer review checklist and submit it to the Faculty Human Resources Committee (FHRC) in the case of HKU. The reviewee may wish to make a record of the post-observation discussion by taking notes of the feedback received, listing areas for improvement and actions they intend to take.

    The reviewee can write a reflection in response to the feedback received and develop an action plan which can help to build up their teaching portfolio.
This guideline draws on the Manual for Peer Reviewers used by the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine and course materials from the Indiana University Peer Review of Teaching Certificate Course.
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