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The following tools provide structure and guidance on conducting peer observation of teaching. We suggest reviewing some of the options below and determining what works best for you and your colleagues –  with or without modifications. 

This document describes a structured form of peer observation, including a detailed set of open-ended questions to consider when observing faculty:

CEILS Peer Observation of Teaching Guide

UCLA’s Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) has worked with the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Teaching; Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences; and Division of the Humanities, to develop, pilot, and refine resources that support formative faculty peer observation at UCLA

Visit the PARSOL website for more information.

List of Observable Research-based Teaching Characteristics: This list helps peer observers provide feedback on teaching practices shown by research to support student learning, including references to research showing the link between the practice and enhanced learning. [Adapted from University of Oregon]

The University of Oregon recently revamped their peer review procedures for teaching, creating the TEP Peer Teaching Observation Form with citations for the efficacy of each observable practice. This can be a great launching point for discussion of your departmental feedback form.

University of Kansas has developed a rubric for the evaluation of teaching, based on an AAU grant, which they encourage departments to modify as needed.

If implemented, we recommend introducing it first on a voluntary basis, and as a tool to foster reflection and growth rather than with high stakes.

UC Berkeley also provides a suggested protocol of pre-meeting, observation, and post-discussion (“Peer Review Form”): “Please note teaching strengths as well as provide suggestions for pedagogical improvement, whenever possible, as a supplement to evaluative comments. This form is not meant to be used as a checklist to observe and evaluate, rather it should generally frame the evaluation and serve as a starting point for identifying appropriate areas to address given the discipline, instructor teaching style and individual class session goals.”

The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University has a comprehensive guide on best practices for peer review of teaching. Visit this resource.

A comprehensive rubric for improving the structure and inclusive qualities of a syllabus:

Syllabus Evaluation Rubric – Cornell University


Additional Resources