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For Applicants

A TRP peer review of teaching is about generating evidence of teaching practice – not about receiving formative peer feedback – for staff members applying for an individual University teaching award, academic promotion (excluding research-only), or conversion to an Education Specialist appointment.

The aim of the peer review observation is to demonstrate effective teaching practice in relation to the dimensions of teaching that have been agreed upon in the pre-observation meeting.

The process is identical for applications for teaching awards, academic promotion, or an Education Specialist conversion. Keep in mind that peer review is only one element of evidence for a teaching award, academic promotion, or Education Specialist conversion application.

Please read over all the sections of the peer review website to familiarise yourself with all aspects of the process.

All communication about peer review is to be conducted through the email address peerreview@adelaide.edu.au.

  • How do I request a peer review?

    Applications will be invited twice a year, and staff may participate in a maximum of one review round per year. Intending applicants should submit a request by completing the application form and sending it to peerreview@adelaide.edu.au by the required deadline.

    When submitting your request, you will be asked to nominate three preferred times and dates to be observed – every effort will be made to find reviewers for one of your preferred sessions. If this is not possible, you will be contacted to nominate additional times and dates.

    If required, you may advise of any reasons that a particular reviewer should not be allocated to your peer review. Review the list of approved peer reviewers.

    Review requests may be requested outside the yearly review rounds for special circumstances or teaching contexts (e.g. Summer or Winter school). Please submit your request as normal, and include in your email the reason for requesting an out-of-round review.

  • Where does a peer review take place?

    It is expected that reviews will normally be undertaken in a face-to-face class. All teaching formats can be reviewed, including lectures, workshops, seminars, studios, tutorials, and lab classes. You may choose which of your classes you wish to have observed.

    Reviews can be conducted at any of the University’s campuses.

    A review of a synchronous online teaching session is an option if a face-to-face session is not possible, or if you have a particular reason for wanting a review of an online session.

    If your teaching takes place in an exclusively asynchronous online teaching context, please contact peerreview@adelaide.edu.au to discuss alternative arrangements.

  • What if I teach as part of teaching team?

    Staff who teach as part of a teaching team are able to obtain an individual peer review. You will need to advise your reviewers that you teach as part of a teaching team in your pre-observation meeting, and provide some context on the nature of the team.

    If a teaching team wishes to obtain a peer review to support a team application for a teaching award, it will be possible for the team to be reviewed as a whole. Please contact peerreview@adelaide.edu.au to discuss arrangements.

  • How long is a review report valid for?

    Peer review reports are valid for two years from the date of the review.

    The same peer review may be used as the necessary evidence of your teaching to apply for a teaching award, academic promotion, or Education Specialist conversion. Note that you must submit your most recent peer review report as the evidence.

  • How can I prepare for my review?

    It is strongly suggested that you practice and prepare thoroughly before your peer review.

    One recommended method for practice is to ask trusted colleagues to act as peer reviewers in trial observations. Ask them to provide feedback on your performance against the requirements in the template.

    It is strongly recommended that you participate in the Peer Assisted Reflection and Development Program (PARD-P) to receive substantial formative feedback on your teaching prior to applying for TRP peer review.

  • Who are the peer reviewers?

    Peer reviewers are learning and teaching experts, including the PVC (Student Learning), Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), and Education Specialists. They have been nominated to become a reviewer based on their teaching and education credentials, including their teaching experience, knowledge of learning and teaching, and teaching awards.

    You will be allocated two reviewers; usually one reviewer from your faculty and one reviewer from outside your faculty. To reduce any risk of conflict of interest, reviewers will not be from your school.

    All peer reviewers have attended peer review training to meet the requirements of this role.

  • What if I need to withdraw from my peer review?

    If you wish to withdraw from the peer review process prior to or after your observation, please immediately email peerreview@adelaide.edu.au to advise of your withdrawal.

Prior to the ObservationNext arrow

After your application has been processed the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) will allocate your peer reviewers.

  • What do I have to prepare for my review?

    After you have been notified by email of your two peer reviewers you are required to contact them as soon as possible to organise a pre-observation meeting.

    If this meeting cannot be conducted face-to-face simultaneously with both reviewers, you can use another medium (e.g. phone, Google Hangouts, Skype) to conduct the meeting. Alternatively, you may schedule separate meetings with them, ensuring you provide exactly the same information to both.

    The following information must be provided to both of your reviewers during your pre-observation meeting:

    • The dimensions of teaching you are nominating to be observed on (you must choose a minimum of six dimensions). Carefully read through the dimensions of teaching and the aligned strategies to gain an understanding of what is expected to demonstrate effective teaching. 
      • Note that there is a Dimension 11, which allows the reviewer to comment on areas relevant to institutional priorities that they observed in your teaching session, which were not covered by the other ten dimensions.
    • The proposed learning outcomes and specific objectives of your session. This information may be given in succinct written form to your reviewers, but they are not expected to read extensive course documentation.
    • A brief verbal overview of the course, including what stage it is at, and what you have covered so far with your students (and possibly how) that is relevant to the session that your reviewers will attend. Include any information on your cohort, the learning space, the online materials/activities, and your teaching approach(es) that might further inform your reviewers. If you teach as part of a teaching team, you should provide some context on the nature of the team. It is quite likely and permissible that your reviewers will have some questions for you to make their task clearer when they attend your session.
  • What if my reviewer does not attend my observation?

    Where reviewers cannot attend an observation due to illness or sudden crisis on the day, they are asked to notify you immediately.

    It is your responsibility to advise both the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) by email (peerreview@adelaide.edu.au) and your other reviewer of this. The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) will assist you to rearrange the observation and will find a different reviewer if necessary.

During the ObservationNext arrow

  • Each peer review will comprise a single teaching observation by two University of Adelaide reviewers of strictly one hour. The reviewers will use the TRP Observation Report to report on your practice in relation to the chosen dimensions of teaching.
  • It is at your discretion to nominate the precise time that the peer reviewers will conduct their observation. It is not compulsory for you to have the first hour of your session observed e.g. you might want the reviewers to attend the middle hour of a three hour workshop. Note that reviewers will only attend for the chosen hour and will not sit in your session prior to or following the hour that you have nominated.
  • Students must not be informed that a peer review is taking place, and peer reviewers are instructed to remain as unobtrusive as possible during the observation.
  • A knowledge of your discipline is not crucial for peer reviewers – they will look for the engagement of your students during the observation and to what extent you are effectively meeting the criteria of your selected dimensions of teaching.
  • Peer reviewers are aware that the dimensions of teaching that you are demonstrating will at times overlap i.e. you will in your teaching session sometimes demonstrate more than one teaching dimension at a time, and the reviewers will take this into account in their reports.

After the ObservationNext arrow

  • Organise a post-observation meeting with your reviewers if an unexpected issue arose at the peer observation that might have impacted your teaching e.g. a student falling ill or a fire alarm going off. If the three of you agree that you should have another review, send the request through the peer review email.
  • The Office of the PVC (Student Learning) asks each reviewer to complete their peer review report within two weeks of the observation. Email reminders will be sent by the Office of the PVC (Student Learning) to reviewers if reports are overdue.
  • Once the Office of the PVC (Student Learning) has received both review reports, they will be forwarded to you and your Head of School.
  • A record of your review is retained with the Office of the PVC (Student Learning), but it is your responsibility to include the reviews with application documentation.
  • You may email a request for a second peer review if there are significant differences between the two peer review reports you receive. The decision to initiate a second peer review rests with the PVC (Student Learning). Additional reviews involve only one reviewer, and all three completed reports should be included with individual teaching award, academic promotion applications or Education Specialist application.
  • After receiving your peer review reports you have the option to submit a reviewee rejoinder. Submissions must be sent to peerreview@adelaide.edu.au no later than one week after receiving your peer review reports. Your rejoinder should be included with all other documentation for your application(s).

The University of Adelaide acknowledges the support and materials provided by RMIT University in the development of the Peer Review scheme.

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