Stephen Ward is the Industrial Design, Head of Discipline at UNSW Built Environment. His research interests include applications of ergonomics (human factors) in design, product usability, user involvement in design and design education.
Stephen teaches Design Communications, Ergonomics and Design Studio. He is also the course convenor for Advanced Computer Aided Product Design.
UNSW Built Environment (BE) Formative Peer Review of Teaching
Stephen Ward and Dr Dijana Alic, UNSW Built Environment
Scientia Education Fellows Stephen Ward and Dijana Alic initiated a project at the faculty of Built Environment, to extend the UNSW Medicine's Formative Peer Reviewing Teaching project (FPRT) to their faculty. Following consultations with the team at Medicine, the first reviewer training session was conducted in June 2018 and fourteen BE reviewers were trained. The session was led by Chinthaka Balasooriya from Faculty of Medicine under a project funded with a grant from the Scientia Educational Investment Fund. The BE system and procedures largely follow the pattern established by colleagues in Medicine. A BE web page has been created on the staff intranet site – with provision of links for staff to request a review of their teaching and to express interest in being trained as a reviewer (log-in required). An admin staff member has been appointed to maintain the system and its records.
Theoretical Background: Formative Peer Review complements the UNSW Summative Peer Review of Teaching scheme which gives staff the means of providing direct evidence of teaching practice. UNSW requires this evidence with any application for a Vice Chancellor’s Award for teaching and, from 2019, with an application for academic promotion. Read more here.
FPRT, on the other hand, is a collaborative and collegial process to support academic development and improvement of teaching, which will assist academics in preparing for a summative review. A key feature of the process is that it will be driven by the reviewee, who retain ownership of the formative peer review documents. In BE, the FBRT process uses the same dimensions of teaching and rating tool as the UNSW Summative Peer review. .
Aims: The aims of the project are to
- Provide collaborative and collegiate support for development of teaching in the Faculty. Support is extended to sessional teaching staff as well as continuing academics.
- Assist academics in preparing for a UNSW Summative Peer Review.
Next steps: The program was trialled in Term 1, 2019. Following this trial, we will launch a campaign to promote the scheme more widely – seeking both requests for review and expressions of interest in becoming a reviewer. Another reviewer training/refresher session will be planned for mid 2019.
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