Teaching is a complex and demanding activity. It can be rewarding and exciting, but it can also be difficult and emotionally draining! Although there is a growing body of literature to help promote scholarly dialogue about teaching and learning, many staff still find it difficult to talk about their own teaching. Peer observation of teaching is one way in which a professional dialogue about teaching can be promoted and sustained.
Drawing on the international literature on peer review of teaching, SEDA Paper 118 provides a comprehensive guide to implementing a departmental peer observation of teaching (POT) scheme based on a ‘collaborative model.’ Traditionally the observer is expected to provide ‘feedback’ to the teacher. In the ‘collaborative model’ each peer is encouraged to engage in a critical, reflective conversation based on principles of equality and mutuality of benefit. Attention is shifted away from teaching as ‘performance’ and onto ways of successfully supporting student learning.