Peer Review of Teaching Tool

This tool is designed for the collaborative peer review of teaching at CIHE. It aims to assist staff to develop a ‘reflexive practice’ to support the continued development of their teaching and the quality of educational delivery at CIHE.

This process of collaborative review can be voluntarily undertaken by any member of the academic teaching staff at CIHE and they will be supported in the process of engaging in the review.

A staff member can aske either a peer or their supervisor to engage in this review process with them. They should select someone who they see as having the expertise to critically evaluate their teaching and with whom they feel they will be able to engage collaboratively and positively in reflecting on their teaching practice. The selection of reviewer must be approved by the Dean.

The teaching review process is a very valuable process to engage in if done properly, with an open mind and with a genuine interest in the improvement of one’s teaching practice.

The teaching review is conducted in three phases. This sounds onerous. It is not, and is not to be used punitively or in any way that creates a burden to staff or those reviewing their teaching.

The three phases are:

  1. Initial discussion/interview
  2. Teaching observation
  3. Follow-up discussion

The outcomes of the teaching review process will be:

  1. The completed form, recording the details of the two discussions and the notes from the observation.
  2. A short commentary/reflection from the staff member about what has been gained or otherwise from the review.

Before commencing the stages set out below, the staff member and the person that they have selected to review their teaching should decide on a teaching session to be observed. The timing of other phases of this process need to be decided in relation to this core element of the review.


Initial discussion

The reviewing staff member should organise a time to sit down with the staff member whose teaching is to be reviewed to discuss their teaching. As the core of this process is the observation, the discussion should concentrate on the teaching session to be observed as an example or instance of the staff member’s teaching practice but should consider this in the broader context of the aims concerning the improvement of their teaching.

  1. Orientation
    1. What do you consider to be your strengths as a teacher?
    2. In what ways would like to improve your teaching practice?
  1. The planned lesson – on the understanding that any teaching session should seek to build on what students already know and lead them toward new knowledge and the application of that knowledge.

    1. What new knowledge and/or skill do you want to introduce students to in the session?
    2. How do you plan to facilitate their understanding and to demonstrate this through application?
    3. Are you trying anything new? Are you concerned about anything specifically that we can discuss in advance and consider after the session?

  2. Link to assessment – on the understanding that the assessment tasks in the unit will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their developing acquisition of the learning outcomes and receive feedback in regards to this development,

    1. how does this teaching session dovetail with assessment?



Typically, one teaching session is observed.

In the reviewing staff member’s observation of the teaching, they should make note of:

  1. The staff member’s

    1. rapport, presentation and demeanour
    2. explication of the session, its aims and its process at the stage of the unit?
    3. openness to student questions and engagement

  2. The kind of classroom atmosphere. Were the TLAs,

    1. Focussed on engaged, active learning?
    2. Accessible and ‘pitched’ at an appropriate level?
    3. Effectively scaffolded across the session?

  3. Were the students,

    1. Provided with feedback during the session?
    2. Clear about how the session built toward assessment?

  4. Other observations/comments


Follow-up discussion

Within a week of the teaching observation, the reviewing staff member should organise a time to sit down with the reviewee staff member with draft copy of their report. The discussion should follow the following outline:

From the observer:

  1. Initial remarks

    1. Questions/clarifications
    2. General feedback from observation:

      1. Positive comments
      2. Areas for improvement

  2. The observing staff member should provide their comments and reflections on the following:

    1. The effectiveness of the introduction of the new knowledge and/or skill?
    2. The facilitation of student’s demonstration of their understanding through application.
    3. Comments on innovations used.

  3. From the observer’s point of view,

    1. Did this teaching session dovetail with assessment?

From the staff member:

  1. Responses and follow-up questions
  2. Reflections on teaching practice and feedback

Within 24 hours of this follow-up meeting, the reviewing staff member should forward a copy of their finalised report to the reviewee staff member.


The staff member whose teaching has been observed should take some time to consider what has been presented and discussed. They should follow-up with the observing staff member if they need clarification or would like to discuss further development/improvement strategies.

They should, within a week of the follow-up meeting (phase three), prepare a brief reflective commentary/report on their review process, focusing on what they have learned and what they would like to improve.

The completed form, recording the details of the two discussions and the notes from the observation and the short commentary/reflection from the staff member should be finalised and submitted to their course-coordinator and the Dean to be kept on the staff member’s record.

The form is available here.