Evidencing and Promoting Excellence Closing the feedback loop in Peer Review (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
It is becoming increasingly important that teachers and educators accumulate a balanced evaluation of teaching performance and educational roles (Marshall, 2004). Peer review is widely regarded as a critical component of this process. This papers re-examines the peer review process.
It is clear that, in an educational setting, peer review of teaching practice when undertaken in a professional manner benefits both the peer reviewee and the key stakeholders. However, it can be argued that the role of the Peer Reviewer is currently undervalued and lacks appropriate acknowledgement. As educators and colleagues we have an obligation to address this oversight by taking a, positive, extra step within the feedback process. To put it simply, we should re-examine the peer review process and close the feedback loop.
I feel that this is more of an opinion paper rather than a conventional paper, but at the same time I do think that it has some good points and i would support the author in their opinion regarding the dynamics of peer-review. Sadly, most of the time the feedback loop is not closed. However, I wonder if the loop should ever be closed, should we look more towards a continuous dynamic process, whereby we constantly build upon the gains to both the reviewer and the recipient.
I really enjoyed reading this article today. The historical perspective on the development of peer-observation frameworks, and the drivers for this process, was really interesting and useful.
I am a bit of a zealot about peer-obs; particularly reciprocal peer-observation. But having attempted to introduce it as routine practice at a new medical school, in 2003, I realised that my enthusiasm was far from universal. In fact, it was viewed with suspicion by many. Perhaps because of perceived links with performance-management, or because it was primarily seen as a problem-finding exercise; the instinct was to "pathologize" rather than celebrate exemplary teaching.
In future, I will encourage colleagues towards peer-obs with the help of some of Laura's observations in this paper. Most importantly, the usefulness of the process is indeed contingent on reflection and appropriate adjustment. Also, Laura reminds us the value of the data generated for appraisal and promotion applications.
Figure 1 is an excellent summary of the central thesis of Laura's paper. I have to declare an interest here, because she has just kindly agreed that I can make use of it in a staff-development presentation. Many thanks.