We’ve considered the following idea in my department, but it hasn’t gotten much traction. However, after looking at accreditation requirements & a recent Twitter conversation, I hope that we’ll try it.
Effective teaching is one of the things my university values above all else. Well, at least we claim to and I think many of us in the university do. However, the monitoring of the extent our teaching is effective is almost non-existent. We are expected to have some peer evaluations for our P&T portfolios, but even that is not systematized (but we’re working on it). I know other departments have chair evaluations once a semester or year, but as chair of a very large (for our school) department, that’s more work than I think I can do. Furthermore, as chair of a department of Teaching & Learning, I know that there is expertise in our faculty that I don’t have.
Therefore, I am hoping to institute a peer
evaluation observation system this year. This system will create peer observation pairings and provide a possible template for writing about the observation. I am going to suggest the following:
- That we each are observed by & observe 3 of our colleagues this year,
- That we are observed by a mix of junior & senior faculty peers,
- That observations are of at least 20 minutes of teaching,
- Write ups include at least one thing the observer would like the observed to consider, and
- Write ups include at least one thing the observer observed that they will consider using in their teaching.
I believe these write ups will make excellent portfolio artifacts. I hope even more that they will become conversation starters.
What would you add to this system? What would you hate about this system? What am I not thinking about?