Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Next steps and further reading

What next? Using the results of peer observation of teaching.

In my experience, POT is like holding up a mirror so that a critical friend can provide you with constructive feedback on your teaching. At this point, you can either look away or engage with the process by reflecting on their observations and undertaking some critical self-evaluation with a view to improving the quality and effectiveness of your teaching.

Ideas for using your observation feedback

We have deliberately designed this guidance so that it can be used flexibly and for a range of purposes. These include:

  • formative approaches for example you choosing to use it yourself to get peer support to investigate a specific aspect of your teaching practice; as part of a formal staff development programme (such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice or the Edinburgh Teaching Award); or as something to discuss at annual review or with a line manager or mentor.
  • summative basis as part of a formal process in some Schools (for example linked to probation/part of staff induction) or in support of a case for promotion.

Further reading

For how peer observation can bring about discussion of teaching see:

Blackwell, R. and Machin, M. (1996) Peer observation of teaching and staff development. Higher Education Quarterly 50(2): 156-171

On how peer observation can contribute to the enhancing the value of teaching see:

Gosling, D. (2005) Peer observation of teaching: implementing a peer observation of teaching scheme with five case studies. (London: Staff and Educational Development Association)

On how the opportunities for shared critical reflection within peer observation can lead to the challenging of assumptions about teaching see:

Peel, D. (2005) Peer observation as a transformatory tool? Teaching in Higher Education 10(4): 489-504

On how the benefits of peer observation accrue to the person doing the observing:

Tenenberg, J. (2016) Learning through observing peers in practice. Studies in Higher Education 41(4): 756-773