Peer Observation of Teaching

 

Peer observation certificate

Get certified as a peer observer 
by completing a two hour training course
and doing two observations. 

Our Goal

Our goal is to train peer observers to improve teaching, document effectiveness, and create a community of practice.

 

Schedule a Peer Observer

These faculty members have completed the peer observation training and are willing to do scheduled peer observations.  You should contact them directly to ask whether they have openings to do a peer observation. Since they are observing your teaching and not evaluating course content, it is not necessary to pick an observer from your area of expertise. 

Carole Shook, Information Systems, CShook@walton.uark.edu

Mindy Bradley, Sociology and Criminology, mwbradl@uark.edu

Deb Korth,  Mathematical Sciences/Student Success, dkorth@uark.edu

Heather Walker, Chemical Engineering, hlw@uark.edu

Kasey Walker, Communication, klwalker@uark.edu

Peggy Lee, School of Nursing, pblee@uark.edu

Samantha Robinson, Data Science, sewrob@uark.edu

Don Johnson, Agricultural Education, Communications, and Technology, dmjohnso@uark.edu


Why Peer Observation?

    • Faculty discontent with Student Evaluation of Teaching
    • Faculty should provide additional items (beyond student evaluations) to document teaching. AP 1405.11 (F.1. Criteria for Faculty Performance)
    • Improve teaching by:
      • Engaging in non-judgmental, constructive dialogue between peers
      • Engaging in self and mutual reflection about teaching practices
      • Exposure to different teaching perspectives and practices
    • Document teaching effectiveness through:
      • Classroom observation by respected peer(s)
      • Written observation report
    • Create a voluntary Community of Practice by:
      • Breaking down disciplinary silos
      • Making teaching a “public” practice
      • Providing opportunities for conversations about teaching and learning
      • Providing a community of peer observers

 


Features of Peer Observation

    •  Voluntary
    • Confidential (The person observed is given the report and they can decide how to use the information) 
    • Peer-to-Peer
    • Cooperative, not evaluative
    • Formative, not summative

Our Peer Observation Model

  Step One: Pre-Observation Meeting

  • Informal/In-person
  • Develop rapport
  • Provide mutual understanding of peer observation process
  • Learn about course and students
  • Discuss instructor’s specific goals for the peer observation
  • Schedule date/time/location
  • Determine topic and instructor goals for class session

Step Two: Classroom Observation

  • Observer arrives early / sit in back of classroom
  • Complete “Peer Observation of Teaching” Timeline form
  • Observer pays special attention to:
    • Instructor identified goals
    • Students engagement and interaction
    • Understanding
    • Instructor clarity
    • Rapport/Respect
    • Management/Support of learning

Step Three: Post Observation Discussion and Report

  •  Observer prepares observation summary for discussion
  • Meets with instructor to discuss observation summary
  • Emphasizes positive points
  • Offer non-judgmental suggestions
      • “What would happen if . . . ?
  • Incorporates feedback into written summary
  • Writes/delivers written summary document


Get Trained

Sign up  to let us know that you are interested in being trained as a peer observer.
Watch for upcoming programs on peer observation of teaching. 
We will have one per semester.