University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Peer Review of Teaching

Peer review of teaching is a form of evaluation designed to provide feedback to instructors about teaching and learning. Peer review may be used either as a way to help instructors improve teaching and learning in their courses, known as a formative review; or it may be part of a formal reward system used in tenure and pay decisions, known as a summative review.

In general, peer review is a collaborative process in which the instructor under review works closely with a colleague or group of colleagues to discuss his or her teaching. The format of a peer review will vary depending on its purpose. In some cases, colleagues may evaluate and discuss teaching materials and curricula; in other cases, they may visit a class session to observe the teacher in action.

The peer-review process yields important information that can be combined with other sources to provide a comprehensive view of an individual's teaching. Other materials that can be used in consort with peer review are student evaluations, administrator assessment, feedback on student work, or self-assessment documentation such as a teaching portfolio.

The University of Minnesota has adopted a formal policy on the evaluation of teaching which includes peer review. To read the senate policy, visit University Senate Policy on the Evaluation of Teaching.

CTL professional services

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is committed to improving the quality of teaching at the University of Minnesota. Staff members are available to assist individuals, departments, or programs through the following steps of the process:

  • help departments establish and implement a peer-review process
  • help departments improve their current peer-review process
  • prepare individuals to participate in the peer-review process by helping them document their teaching and compile the appropriate materials
  • prepare individuals to carry out a peer review of their colleagues
  • provide examples of peer review systems currently in use at the University of Minnesota. (pending)

The CTL offers consultation services, specialized workshops, forms for peer observation and review, and a variety of online resources.

For more information or to speak with a consultant, contact the CTL at 612-625-3041 or send an email to teachlrn@umn.edu.