Penn State University

Assessment of Teaching - Peer Review

As part of the Faculty Assessment of Teaching Framework, the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs has announced that academic units need to update their peer review guidance during the 2023-2024 academic year. Below are key elements of all unit guidelines.

  • Penn State's research-based Elements of Effective Teaching should serve as a foundation for the peer review of teaching.
  • All full-time faculty (non-tenure-line and tenure-line) must receive at least one summative peer review of teaching within a 5-year period.
  • The content of each evaluation should include only evidence-based observations. That is, the assessment (i.e., evaluations and conclusions) should be tied to corresponding evidence.
  • Summative peer review of teaching ideally consists of more than one source of assessment that may or may not include course observation.
  • The relevant administrator and the faculty member being reviewed should collaborate to choose reviewers.
    • Faculty under review should have the opportunity to submit names of potential reviewers.
    • Reviewers may be internal or external to the academic unit, and unit guidelines should outline the need for discipline expertise across reviewers.
    • The faculty member under review may reject a proposed reviewer after consultation with their administrator.
  • Academic unit guidelines (department/campus/division/school) must not conflict with college guidelines.
    • Academic unit's peer review of teaching guidelines must be consistently applied across the academic unit and within ranks, and clearly communicated to faculty.
    • Academic units will determine which sources of assessment will be used and how these sources will be reviewed.
    • If course observation is an element of a unit’s peer review guidelines,
      • academic units should have guidelines for reviewing courses in a variety of delivery modes (e.g., hybrid, in-person, online); and
      • units should make clear what constitutes a course observation.

    If you would like to discuss Peer Review of Teaching with a SITE faculty member, please reach out to any of the consultants or email SITE also offers Peer Review of Teaching grants.

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