All Extension professionals are encouraged to invite peers to formally evaluate their teaching to help inform strategies for improving instructional delivery and effectiveness. A&P and faculty educators and specialists shall arrange for at least one peer evaluation of teaching annually. Other Extension professionals for whom teaching is a core component of their work are encouraged to do the same. This peer evaluation of teaching focuses on key dimensions outlined below and is provided in formal letter format.
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.
NOTE: 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 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 be on official letterhead of the peer and signed by the peer. 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 to the instructor at the conclusion of the teaching event.
Key Dimensions of Peer Evaluation of Teaching Letters
- Curriculum Choice and Development
- Appropriateness for audience and specific teaching objectives
- Use of and appropriateness of supporting materials
- Instructional Strategies
- Effectiveness of methods and materials
- Effectiveness in engaging participants
- Effective use of time allotted
- 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
- 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
- Evaluation of Learning
- Appropriateness of evaluation materials and approach
- Participant feedback on how activities/projects/assignments contribute to learning
- 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 (when peer is faculty) and signature