Reviewing Teaching Using Peer Feedback

Faculty colleagues are an important source of feedback on one’s teaching. Such peer feedback usually involves classroom teaching observations and dialogues around what’s observed.

Such feedback serves to inform your professional reflection and in and of itself, is a powerful teaching development platform. It serves as an additional credible data points for summative evaluations within your school during yearly appraisals, promotion and tenure applications. In this context, it provides a different teaching-oriented perspective from that of student feedback. Students have limited disciplinary training and may not be well positioned to comment on certain issues such as pedagogical alignment and aspects involving broader institutional goals or values. Further they may possess biases against faculty which are unrelated to teaching effectiveness.

Here are some avenues where CTE can assist you to arrange to receive or exchange peer feedback on teaching:

  1. Reciprocal coaching: Allow CTE to pair you up with another SMU faculty who shares your interest in observing classes and exchanging insights and ideas. This is an ideal opportunity to establish a flexible, mutually supportive professional partnership built around advancing your teaching. Conversations and observations proceed at your desired pace and comfort level.
  2. Peer coaching: Collaborate with a trained faculty coach from your school or from another school. Such peer coaches are typically experienced faculty members who have taught in SMU for some time and have been specifically nominated for this role by their Deans. They have a number of institutional resources at their disposal to enhance the takeaways from such collaborations. All feedback from such peer coaches are provided in strictest confidence.
  3. Please contact CTE if you are keen to:
    • explore reciprocal coaching and / or peer coaching. The outcomes of either collaborations may be formally cited as evidence of peer feedback if you decide to do so.
    • serve as a peer coach as part of SMU’s Peer~CARE programme, This is an important of service back to the SMU teaching community and a significant development opportunity for you as an educator and for future academic leadership roles.


  1. Chism, N. V. N. (1999). Peer Review of Teaching. A Sourcebook. Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 176 Ballville Road, PO Box 249, Bolton, MA 01740-0249.
  2. Hubball, H., & Clarke, A. (2011). Scholarly Approaches to Peer-Review of Teaching: Emergent Frameworks and Outcomes in a Research-Intensive University. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 4(3).