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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Department of Extension Peer Evaluation of Teaching

All Extension professionals are expected to formally evaluate their teaching by utilizing peers to help inform strategies for improving instructional delivery and effectiveness. A&P and faculty educators and specialists are expected to arrange for at least one peer evaluation of teaching annually. Other Extension professionals for whom teaching is a core component of their work (e.g. program assistants or program coordinators) are encouraged to do the same but are not required. This peer evaluation of teaching focuses on key dimensions outlined below, is provided in formal letter format, and should identify specific opportunities for continued growth and development in Extension teaching.

Selecting a Peer Evaluator

Peers should be selected who possess a level of expertise needed to provide constructive and useful evaluative feedback on teaching (i.e. higher level of expertise as evidenced by additional years of experience, or a higher rank). It is not necessary that the peer reviewer have deep expertise in the subject matter.

  • The peer evaluator does not have to be of an equal or higher rank; however, seeking feedback from peers of an equal or higher rank should be the practice to the extent possible, especially for faculty pursuing promotion. 
  • The peer evaluator can be one's supervisor, but from year to year should include other peers. 
  • Ideally, the peer should not be someone who is co-teaching the event. Other potential conflicts of interest should be considered in the selection process and avoided in securing a peer evaluation.
Guidelines for the Letter

The annual peer evaluation of teaching should be documented in narrative form as a letter from the peer to the instructor requesting the evaluative feedback. The letter should include the date of the teaching event, and be on institutional letterhead of the peer and signed by the peer, also listing their full name and title in print. Personal characteristics of the instructor and the importance of the subject matter are relevant only to the extent that they impact quality of teaching. Teaching materials (such as teaching outlines, handouts, audio/visuals, web sites, evaluation instruments, etc.) can be included in the review. When possible and feasible, the peer is encouraged to share verbal feedback with the instructor at the conclusion of the teaching event.

Key Dimensions of Peer Evaluation of Teaching Letters
  1. Curriculum Choice and Development
  • Appropriateness for audience and specific teaching objectives
  • Use of and appropriateness of supporting materials
  1. Instructional Strategies
  • Effectiveness of methods and materials
  • Effectiveness in engaging participants
  • Effective use of time allotted
  1. Promotion of Participant Learning
  • Learning objectives clearly stated and developed
  • Supporting materials useful to learners in their own situations
  • Opportunities provided for active participation
  • Key points identified and clearly summarized; questions addressed clearly
  • Personal characteristics: enthusiastic, self-confident, professional, interested in student success, approachable and accessible to participants
  1. Instructor Preparedness
  • Appropriate depth of disciplinary knowledge; technically accurate
  • Logical organization of class time, presentation, and teaching methods
  • Accommodates differences among learners and keeps participants focused on the objectives
  1. Evaluation of Learning
  • Appropriateness of evaluation materials and approach
  • Participant feedback on how activities/projects/assignments contribute to learning
  1. Summary Comments
  • General comments
  • Summary of strengths and specific things that worked
  • Summary of suggestions for improvement
  • Comparison to last review by this observer (if applicable)
  • Include name, title/rank and signature

Updated 5/3/2024
Updated 10/16/2020