"When teaching is viewed as professional knowledge there must be an accepted way to define characteristics of teaching excellence and to make judgments based on a stated set of criteria and standards that reflect the complexity of teaching” (Chism, 2007, p. 13).
Peer review is one way to address multifaceted evaluation of teaching. It can include not only peer observations, but also assessment of a teaching portfolio which could consist of curricula vitae, student evaluations, syllabi and other course artefacts, and reflections on teaching. There are two very different forms of peer review: formative and summative.
Formative evaluation is oriented solely towards the improvement of teaching and is part of instructional mentorship and development. CTL supports formative evaluation through our Peer Consultation Program.
Summative evaluation is typically tied to decisions related to reappointment, promotion, or tenure. If initiating a peer review process, it is important to be clear about the purpose and to have different peers involved in each form of assessment.