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Peer Review Plan for Teaching

Rationale

 

For several years, educational institutions have been reviewing the quality and character of faculty work, looking at the numerous roles faculty are expected to take on, and especially how to more appropriately evaluate the activities and tasks of teaching. Ernest Boyer of the Carnegie Foundation asked "just how are we to evaluate teaching, and how can we be sure that standards of excellence will be protected?" There is a general sense among faculty that student evaluations are not enough. Suggestions indicate that ways are needed for faculty to be professional colleagues to one another in teaching as they are in research such as in peer review. This suggestion focuses on the concepts put forth by Lee Schulman, former professor of psychology and education at Stanford, and current president of the Carnegie Foundation, who suggests that:

  • To be a superior teacher, faculty must understand not only general methods of teaching, they must also understand how to transform the particular concepts in their field into terms that their particular students will understand.

Peer review is a professional responsibility; we owe it to ourselves and our students to ensure the quality of what we do as teachers. (AAHE Project Workbook, Jan. 1995).

The concept of peer review has been discussed on the School of Dentistry campus as another means of documenting teaching excellence or the need for further improvement. Peer review should involve judgments about the quality of work for either promotion or tenure, but it should also focus upon ways that faculty can be more effective colleagues to one another in improving their work as teachers.

Peer review needs to be linked with additional activities such as a faculty member’s reflective commentary about one of their teaching artifacts or their teaching, peer mentoring, pedagogical colloquium where faculty can talk to other faculty about teaching, teaching libraries, making the peer review of teaching part of the department and school culture.

 

Implementation Process

 

Peer review of all current teaching faculties may be implemented through the following means:

  1. In consultation with departmental faculty, department chairs will formulate a peer review schedule for all departmental faculties within the first month of the academic school year.
  2. Appropriate Peer Evaluation forms will be given to the faculty members at that time.
  3. The faculty member may request peer review.
  4. The department chair may request a specific peer review of a departmental faculty.

 

Peer Evaluation for Large Group Presentations (lectures)

 

  1. Faculty may volunteer to become reviewers and be approved by their department chair.
  2. Faculty may be nominated as reviewers by their department chairs.
  3. A departmental committee may select peer evaluators to represent their department.
  4. Peer evaluators must hold the rank of associate professor or above or be considered senior faculty within the department.
  5. Peer evaluators will be trained in programs provided by the Office of Professional Development in collaboration with personnel from the basic science and clinical departments.

 

Peer Reviewers/Evaluators

 

  1. Faculty may volunteer to become reviewers and be approved by their department chair.
  2. Faculty may be nominated as reviewers by their department chairs.
  3. A departmental committee may select peer evaluators to represent their department.
  4. Peer evaluators must hold the rank of associate professor or above or be considered senior faculty within the department.
  5. Peer evaluators will be trained in programs provided by the Office of Professional Development in collaboration with personnel from the basic science and clinical departments.

 

Expected Outcomes

 

Faculty value, sometimes more than anything else, the regard of their scholarly peers. Peer Review will assist in making teaching a more scholarly endeavor and elevate the status of teaching in the School of Dentistry. The Peer Review System is structured to focus on strengths of the faculty member and areas that could be enhanced. Therefore, the following outcomes could be expected from the implementation of Peer Review:

  1. A description of the strengths and weaknesses observed by the Peer Reviewer.
  2. Recommendations for enhancing specific areas of teaching.
  3. Opportunities to participate in activities to encourage growth in teaching and the scholarship of teaching.
  4. Documentation for the annual evaluation of faculty.
  5. The discovery of faculty who could serve as exemplary role models for others pursuing teaching excellence.
  6. The enhancement of teaching to the level of a scholarly endeavor.
  7. Invoking standards of excellence in teaching.

 

Peer Review Forms