For Panel Members
The following information is provided to assist individual teaching award and academic promotion panel members to interpret peer review of teaching reports.
- Who are the applicants in the peer review process?
The applicants are University of Adelaide staff applying for individual teaching awards, academic promotion (excluding research-only), or conversion to Education Specialist appointments.
- Who are the reviewers in the peer review process and what is their role?
Our reviewers include the PVC (Student Learning), Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), and Education Specialists, as well as other teaching staff from all faculties. All reviewers are selected based on their teaching and education expertise, including teaching experience, knowledge of learning and teaching, key positions in learning and teaching within the University, and awards for teaching. All peer reviewers must participate in peer reviewer training facilitated by the Office of the DVC(A) before they join the list of approved reviewers.
Each peer review requires two reviewers, usually one from a cognate discipline and the other from a different faculty. Both are chosen by the PVC (Student Learning) to conduct the review. Peer review reports are completed by the two reviewers observing the same one hour session of an applicant’s teaching. This follows a pre-observation meeting where the applicant explains to the reviewers the context of the teaching that will be observed.
A peer review report template is used by reviewers to record their observations of the session. The reviewer uses the dimensions of teaching outlined in the template to indicate whether they observed evidence against the dimensions and whether this evidence appeared to be effective teaching in the context of the session.
It is important to understand that the reviewer is not making a judgement about whether the applicant should receive a teaching award, academic promotion or Education Specialist conversion.
- What is my role as a panel member?
As a panel member deciding on individual teaching awards, academic promotion or Education Specialist conversion, you are expected to use peer review reports to triangulate evidence of claims by the peer review applicant in their application.
The peer review reports provide you with independent third party evidence of the applicant’s effectiveness in demonstrating activity against the dimensions of teaching. The reviewer has not been involved in the application process, and is providing peer feedback for you to complement the student feedback that you will have in your data set for the applicant.
To assist you in triangulating the peer review report with the claims of the applicant, for each dimension of teaching you will see that the reviewer provides some evidence to illustrate why they selected the quantity and quality of examples for each relevant teaching dimension.
The peer review reports are not likely to be identical, but would normally be consistent with each other. If there is a significant difference in the reviewer reports a third report may be in your data set to allow you to better interpret the session observed.
The reviewee is offered the opportunity to write a one page rejoinder based on the peer review reports. In this case, you will have the review reports and the rejoinder (if submitted) to assist you in your deliberations on the application from the reviewee.
- How do I relate to the dimensions of teaching during the review process?
Because reviewers only observe a one hour session, you would not expect a teacher to necessarily use all dimensions equally in the observed time. You should consider the overall pattern in the report, and use individual dimensions in relation to the claims made in the application.
The reviewee is encouraged to advise the reviewers of particular dimensions that will not be addressed in the session to be observed because they are not relevant. A minimum of six dimensions must be chosen for the observation.
The boxes in each dimension of teaching are not numeric scales and should not be used as numbers. The reviewer is indicating whether they observed no, some, many or extensive examples against the particular dimension. Some, many and extensive are all appropriate indicators, but the prevalence of examples must be considered alongside their apparent effectiveness.
Thus, some examples that are very effective or exceptionally effective are a good indication of thoughtful teaching. However, extensive examples with no apparent effectiveness indicates that the reviewee is trying, but missing the mark in terms of effective teaching.
The comments for each dimension of teaching should be very succinct, with the aim of supporting the choices made in identifying the quantity and quality of evidence.