The aim of formative peer review is to improve teaching for the benefit of student learning. It draws on the expertise of academic colleagues who provide constructive feedback on all areas of teaching practice, including the observation of teaching as well as the review of curricula and teaching resources. (Harris et al., 2008). More importantly, formative peer review of teaching also requires reflection on received feedback and on reviewed teaching (Bell et al., 2010; Bell & Mladenovic, 2015).
Formative peer review is a valuable tool in the promotion of collegial working practices and mutual learning. This is particularly true in reciprocal peer reviews, where peers take turns in reviewing each other (Barnard et al., 2011). This creates the opportunity to develop not only by receiving feedback but also by observing others (Hendry et al., 2014).
Most faculties within UNSW offer formal formative peer review programs. Find out more.
You can also engage in informal formative peer review. To find out more about the benefits and processes of informal formative peer review, please click here.
Barnard, A., Croft, W., Irons, R., Cuffe, N., Bandara, W., & Rowntree, P. (2011). Peer partnership to enhance scholarship of teaching: A case study. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(4), 435–448. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2010.518953
Bell, A., & Mladenovic, R. (2015). Situated learning, reflective practice and conceptual expansion: Effective peer observation for tutor development. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(1), 24–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2014.945163
Bell, A., Mladenovic, R., & Segara, R. (2010). Supporting the reflective practice of tutors: What do tutors reflect on? Teaching in Higher Education, 15(1), 57–70. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562510903488139
Harris, K.-L., Farrell, K., Bell, M., Devlin, M., & James, R. (2008). Peer Review of Teaching in Australian Higher Education: A handbook to support institutions in developing and embedding effective policies and practices. Australian Learning and Teaching Centre (ALTC).
Hendry, G. D., Bell, A., & Thomson, K. (2014). Learning by observing a peer’s teaching situation. International Journal for Academic Development, 19(4), 318–329. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2013.848806