Collaborating with Colleagues: Classroom Observations

Faculty may find colleague “peer reviews” a valuable way to gain multiple perspectives on teaching and learning as well as a welcome addition to tenure files. Observations are most effective when approached as a collaboration meant to benefit all involved. For the one being observed, an observation can provide useful feedback that might not be revealed through the use of other assessment methods. For the one observing, the experience can provide an opportunity to learn from seeing a fellow teacher in action. Alternatively, you can engage in peer review by reviewing colleague’s course materials, considering student performance on assignments, and by discussing strengths and challenges of your teaching.

How have colleagues supported your teaching?

“…by class observation, shared materials, collaborating on curriculum planning, sharing student information, etc.”

Soohee Kim, Senior Lecturer, Asian Languages and Literature

“Speaking plainly, in private, about teaching challenges; sharing the pain and possibilities; always wanting to do it better; always believing that we can.”

Professor Karl Leggett, Social Work

Additional Resources

CIDR Teaching and Learning Bulletins

A collection of short papers on pertinent teaching and learning topics with practical suggestions and resources.  Search for a topic of interest HERE.

Bibliography

  • Seldin, P. (1999). Changing Practice in Evaluating Teaching: A Practical Guide to Improved Faculty Performance. Bolton, Ma: Anker.
  • Chism, N. (2007). Peer Review of Teaching: A Sourcebook. Bolton, Ma: Anker.
  • Hutchings, P. (1996). Making teaching community property: A menu for peer collaboration and peer review. Washington DC: American Association for Higher Education

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