Peer Observation Groups
Peer Observation Groups provide an informal opportunity for USF faculty to observe each other's classes in small teams, both giving and receiving useful feedback on their teaching practices.
Groups are constructed to be deliberately interdisciplinary, in order to maximize the chances that fellow teammates are not involved in each other's annual or tenure evaluations. This enables a more free-flowing exchange of ideas and strategies in a safe environment. Or, participants can make a special request to be placed with others in similar disciplines if content-related feedback is requested.
Participants are free to visit each other's classes with no written report, or to use this purpose-created visitation form. Peer observers are discouraged from providing criticism or suggestions for improvement (unless specifically requested by the instructor being observed). Instead, the focus is meant to be on the observers' own reflections concerning the witnessed best practices and effective techniques that the observers can then adopt in their own teaching.
Peer Observation Groups are reformed each academic year and usually kept to three or four members. Ideally, each member would observe a class from each of the other members at least once over that academic year. Groups are encouraged to meet casually once or twice during the year, to discuss visitations so far and to debrief particularly effective strategies.
ATLE plays several roles in the process:
- Assemble the Peer Observation Groups from individual registrations
- Coordinate a kickoff event and a concluding event (hosted lunch provided at both)
- Create annual certificates of participation
- Provide an optional visitation form
Eligibility for Participation
Participation in the Peer Observation Groups is open to full-time faculty (9 or 12 month appointments) and adjuncts. Graduate students are encouraged to register for the PCT course, which will provide opportunities to build informal networks for similar purposes.