CVM Peer Observation of Teaching Initiative
Opening a process to enhance both teaching and curriculum development within the CVM, encouraging innovation, and leading to more effective assessment of teaching progress
A primary goal of the WSU CVM Teaching Academy initiative for Peer Observation of Teaching is to develop a culture of teaching improvement within our college. This culture would welcome peer observations and interactions, individualize faculty development of instruction, support educational innovations, and generate community-wide conversations about best teaching practices.
The evaluation of teaching in the WSU CVM is currently limited. These processes:
- Do not provide sufficient formative input to improve an individual’s teaching effectiveness
- Do not support experimentation and innovation (risk taking)
- Do not stimulate sharing of teaching experiences or otherwise create a comfortable environment for exploring new teaching practices
- Do not provide complete and balanced summative feedback, as is needed for annual review and promotion portfolios
After an initial phase of recruitment, a spectrum of current faculty, tenured and non-tenured, are being trained to observe, discuss and actively reflect with CVM instructional faculty. This will provide constructive interactions with a group of at least three trained faculty following observations of the individuals’ teaching activities (including lectures, laboratories and clinical instruction). The interactive process follows transparent guidelines. Interactions will be designed to offer relevant and insightful opportunities for reflection by the instructor, and to provide an alternative source of formative and summative evaluations to department chairs and promotion committees.
WSU CVM Peer Observation of Teaching Pathway
PHASE 1. Peer Observation Training and Participation. For a candidate interested in being observed, the first steps involve participating in the process of observing and discussing teaching goals with another candidate. This will likely be in the semester before a candidate expects to be observed themselves, so early engagement in the process is needed. This process will take 5-6 hours.
- Training: Attend Peer Observation training sessions as offered live or complete online training (when available)
- Peer Observation: Participate as part of a teaching observation team that completes the peer observation process with another candidate, observing instruction in any context, discussing the instructor’s roles, sharing feedback on what was observed and contributing to a summary letter.
PHASE 2. Self-Observation. This activity helps the candidate determine what goals they may have for the instructional exercise and further discern what specific areas of feedback to request from the peer observation team. This process can take as long as the participant wants.
- Self-Observation: To prepare to be observed by peers, the candidate is advised to observe one or more videos of their own lectures or clinical interactions.
- Feedback forms: The candidate will fill out the suitable feedback forms to identify areas of teaching they are interested in strengthening.
- Goals: From the observation and feedback forms, the candidate will outline specific goals and specific areas for feedback from the peer observation team in PHASE 3.
PHASE 3. Observation of Teaching for a Candidate. After completion of PHASES 1 and 2, a candidate’s peer observation can be scheduled. A pre-observation meeting will be scheduled BEFORE observations begin. A peer-observation committee will assemble, and observations sessions will be scheduled. A post-observation meeting to summarize the group’s observations and feedback will also be scheduled. This process will take 5-6 hours.
- Pre-observation meeting: During the pre-observation meeting, the candidate will be asked to identify specific areas where they seek feedback from the committee.
- Post-observation debrief: Immediately following a candidate’s teaching session, observers and the candidate may engage in brief post-observation discussions while the session is fresh in the minds of all. These discussions may include some just-in-time changes that the candidate can consider for other subsequent observations.
- Post-observation discussion: During the post-observation meeting, feedback will be sought from the peer observers and the candidate will be invited to reflect on what they have learned from their peer observation experience and set new goals for the future.
Interested in having your course or clinic teaching observed? Please fill out this form.
After filling out the form, you will receive a response within two to three business days. If you have not heard back from us, please send an email confirming that your form was received to Dr. Rachel Halsey.
Peer Observation Documents
Guidelines for Effective Peer Observation & Review of Teaching - Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Building A Supportive Climate:
Interaction With Learners:
This guide outlines a structure for the notes you make while observing faculty members interacting with learners and the comprehensive feedback session regarding that interaction. The guidelines pertain to lecturing, small group or laboratory facilitation, coaching, clinic teaching, etc. There is no expectation that all numbered items will be discussed for every observation. Rather, these items are representative of what might be addressed under each main and sub-heading.
Committee Step-By-Step Process