The following information is provided to assist you as a Selection Panel Member in the interpretation of Peer Review Reports that are submitted as part of individual UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence and/or academic promotion (excluding research only academics) applications.
Peer Review Reports form part of the evidence of effectiveness of teaching practice. In 2018 a peer review will be a requirement for academic staff applying for an individual UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence; and in 2019, a peer review will be a requirement for academic staff applying for academic promotion (excluding research only academics).
The responses to frequently asked questions outline your role as a Selection Panel Member considering Peer Review Reports as part of applicants’ documentation. If you have any further questions email the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who wrote the Peer Review Reports?
Peer Review Reports have been completed by two peer reviewers whom have observed the same session of a reviewee’s teaching (face-to-face or synchronous online teaching); or who have peer reviewed the same asynchronous online course activity. The two peer reviewers have not been chosen by the reviewee, but through the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) from the list of approved peer reviewers for UNSW.
The reviewers have used the respective Peer Review Report template to record their observations and judgement:
- Peer Review Report Template for Individual Award and Academic Promotion Applications; or
- Peer Review Report Template for Asynchronous Online Courses for Individual Teaching Award and Academic Promotion Applications.
The reviewer is not making a judgement about whether the reviewee should receive a teaching award or academic promotion. The reviewer is using the Dimensions of Teaching outlined in the template to indicate whether they observed evidence against the Dimensions and whether this evidence appeared to be effective from the students’ perspective in the context of the teaching session or asynchronous online course activity. The Peer Review Report provides you with independent third party evidence that the reviewee could (or could not) demonstrate evidence of activity against the Dimensions.
How do I interpret peer review reports as a panel member?
You will use the reviewer Peer Review Reports to triangulate evidence of claims by the reviewee in their application for an individual UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence or academic promotion (excluding research only academics). The reviewer has not been involved in the award or promotion application process and is providing peer evaluation to complement the student feedback that you will have in your data set for the applicant.
The reviewee is also offered the opportunity to write a one page Rejoinder based on the Peer Review Reports. You will have the Peer Review Reports and the Rejoinder (if submitted) to assist you in your deliberations on the application from the reviewee.
Examples of Peer Review Reports
Example 1 (PDF, 60k, 4 pages)
In Example01 you will observe that the reviewer has written comments against all nine Dimensions. It is not necessary for reviewees to pick all nine Dimensions for review (a minimum of six dimensions must be observed). You may have an example where the reviewee has indicated to the reviewers that particular Dimensions will not be addressed in the session to be observed. This is fine, as reviewees are encouraged to let reviewers know if particular Dimensions are not usually addressed in that session. The reviewee may address some Dimensions in other sessions that are not observed.
You will notice in Example01 that the reviewer has marked certain boxes on the right hand side of the report. These boxes are not numeric scales and should not be used as numbers.
The reviewer is indicating whether they observed none, some, or many examples against the particular Dimension. Some and many are both appropriate indicators and the prevalence of examples must be considered alongside their apparent effectiveness. Thus “some examples” that are “very effective” is a good indication of thoughtful teaching. Alternatively, “many examples” with “no apparent effectiveness” indicates that the reviewee is trying but missing the mark in terms of effective teaching.
On the left hand side of the Peer Review Report the reviewer has provided some examples to illustrate why they indicated the range of examples selected in the boxes and their apparent effectiveness. This assists you to triangulate the reviewer report with the claims of the applicant.
Example 2 (PDF, 40k, 2 pages)
In Example02 you will notice that the reviewer has indicated “some example” for Dimension 6 but the effectiveness was not clear. You should read the written comments for each Dimension to see why the reviewer thought examples were not effective in the context of the observed session.
There are two reports for each observation because there are two reviewers. One reviewer is from the same Faculty as the reviewee, but not the same school, and the other reviewer is a designated learning and teaching expert. The Reports are not likely to be identical, but would normally be consistent with each other. If there is a significant difference in the reviewer Reports, a third Report may be in your data set to allow you to better interpret the session observed.
Remember that the reviewers only observed a one hour session. You would not expect a teacher to necessarily use all Dimensions equally in the one session. You should consider the overall pattern in the report and use individual Dimensions in relation to the claims made in the application.