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Defining and Developing a Framework for the Peer Observation of Teaching


Drew, S and Klopper, C and Nulty, D, Defining and Developing a Framework for the Peer Observation of Teaching, Teaching for Learning and Learning for Teaching: Peer Review of Teaching in Higher Education, Sense Publishers, C Klopper, S Drew (ed), Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 13-34. ISBN 9789463002875 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2015 Sense Publishers

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Changes in funding and regulatory requirements for universities increases the need for teachers and institutions to be able to achieve and demonstrate the quality of learning and teaching. In addition, changes in the competitive landscape for local and international student places provide added pressure to institutions to be seen as effective education providers. Growths in the use of the Internet to publish rankings (e.g., The Good Universities Guide) and social networking, where students share experiences widely, demand a transparent approach to delivering quality that includes developing and supporting excellence in teaching.

At the same time, Governments and universities have recognised the importance of nurturing and developing the quality of teaching as a way of achieving better student outcomes. More academic appointments with an explicit teaching focus are beginning to emerge. In the research literature, starting with Shulman (1986, 1987) and Boyer (1990), attention to scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching has increased. The impetus for universities to value research into teaching practice, and to reward teaching quality, continues to grow.

A component of universitiesí response to this quality agenda is the use of student evaluations of teaching and courses. These evaluations can be regarded as providing a student-centric picture of quality. However, if used summatively as the sole, or predominant, indicator of teaching performance in an institution they do not inspire academic confidence in the system. Further, their use in formative techniques is regarded to be relatively weak. This chapter advocates for, and outlines, an approach (methodology) based on providing a peer perspective as counterpoint. Whether it is used in a developmental or summative way, the approach developed can be understood by academics, and valued by the university, as a defensible way to alleviate over-reliance on student evaluations alone, and to achieve demonstrable improvements in the quality of teaching.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:teaching, higher education, peer observation
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Communication technology and digital media studies
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the information and computing sciences
UTAS Author:Drew, S (Dr Steve Drew)
ID Code:111928
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Curriculum and Academic Development
Deposited On:2016-10-17
Last Modified:2017-12-05

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