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Peer Review of Teaching for Face-to-face and Online Courses (Remote Teaching)

What is peer review of teaching?

Peer review of teaching is evaluation, by colleagues or peers, of all teaching related activities. It can be either formative (for development) or summative (for personnel decision) purposes and should include a variety of teaching materials.

Why conduct peer review of teaching?

Teaching can be best understood by teachers (peers) who are familiar with the subject matter and context of a course. Peer review results in information not available in students evaluation and should help the instructor see what students are experiencing in their courses, provide avenues for curriculum improvement, and provide mentorship opportunities while participating in a collaborative discussion about teaching that builds understanding.

How often is peer review of teaching conducted?

At NC State, peer review is governed by Regulation 05.20.10. Table 1.1 shows the minimum intervals at which faculty must be reviewed.

Table 1.1

Assistant ProfessorMin. 1 before reappointment and 3 before tenure
Associate ProfessorEvery 5 years and min. 2 before full professor
Full ProfessorEvery 5 years
NTT (professional) Faculty
(.75 FTE or greater)
Every 3-5 years after as necessary for contract renewal.  Once faculty have achieved the rank of professor, peer evaluations shall be conducted as necessary for contract renewal, or every 5 years – whichever is longer.

Is there an instrument for peer Review? (Section 4.2)

Development is a departmental responsibility, but a department can adopt a college or university template. The instrument must address the wide range of strategies, media and materials used in achieving learning objectives. It must include categories such as instructor organization, instructional strategies, choice of content, mastery of content, presentation skills, instructional materials and/or media, interaction with students and additional items appropriate for laboratory, clinic, studio or field settings. There must also be a section for comments and other observations relevant to the discipline or type of class.

Who can be a peer reviewer? (Section 4.2)

For reviews of teaching, the peer reviewers may be colleagues of any rank mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and the department head or academic administrator, pending resolution by the Dean if there is disagreement. The peer reviewers may be selected from inside or outside the department. In small departments or in highly specialized disciplines, it may be difficult to find colleagues who can provide the required insights within the same department.

Who gets to see completed peer reviews? (Sections 7.1 and 7.1)

Completed student and peer evaluation instruments and resulting summary data are confidential and become part of the faculty member’s personnel file. Faculty members must be provided access to completed evaluations and any summary data resulting from those evaluations.

What is the process for a peer review of teaching?

Regulation 05.20.10 explains that peer review of teaching is more than an observation of one’s teaching. The review should include (as applicable) visits to the classroom or course website, and the review of the key media and materials, electronic interactions, learning materials (syllabus, examinations, handouts, electronic materials and examples of students work.) The review should be discussed with the instructor by the evaluator and should be signed by the evaluator and instructor.

A comprehensive peer review of teaching will usually include:

  • Assignment of reviewer
  • Reviewer/reviewee pre-observation meeting
  • Classroom observation
  • Review of syllabus/other materials
  • Post observation debrief
  • Final written report

What should my department develop to be effective in peer review?

A comprehensive approach to peer review of teaching will include a protocol for the peer review, templates for in-person and web-based observation, a template for review of learning materials, and a template for a final report. We have provided a Handbook for Developing a Departmental Peer Review of Teaching Process.

What are some examples of templates I can use for peer review?

Applicable to Face-to-face Instruction

Applicable to Online/remote or Web-based Instruction

Applicable to Both Face-to-face and Remote Instruction

Other Resources

General Information from Peer Institutions