Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Welcome




Welcome to our blog focused on peer evaluation of teaching.
For teachers at all levels, peer teaching observations and evaluations are essential not only for accountability and administrative assessment, but to enable the most effective teaching possible. Most of us ideally assume we are doing excellent work (or should at least aim to) but it can be challenging to evaluate ourselves from "the inside"--by viewing and assessing the very content we create. Student feedback is helpful but has potential bias, particularly in online courses where student-teacher relationships may be compromised or strained by a lack of face-to-face contact and interaction. These are only a few reasons why peer-based teaching evaluations are important.

This particular project was prompted by a collaboration among various faculty members who teach different classes in diverse departments at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Our Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) provides opportunities for such discussions. Their summer and winter conferences encourage faculty to come together and work through issues and create projects and content to improve teaching and learning experiences for faculty and students at UCF.

During the 2015 summer conference, our cohort of colleagues from diverse disciplines came together to discuss and create tools to encourage objective peer teaching observations, evaluations, and assessment within their respective departments and programs through research of scholarly documents, identification and analysis of existing peer evaluation models, and the creation of specific tools to be potentially applied across and beyond our university. UCF Faculty from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, and the Women's and Gender Studies Program welcome you to view our ideas, content, and resources related to various teaching models.

We would like to thank the existing models we referenced and gleaned our strategies from, such as those from the University of Southern Mississippi Learning Enhancement Center, Florida Gulf Coast University, California State University, the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, and UCF's own FCTL and the Center for Distributed Learning's Interactive Distributed Learning (IDL6543) program, to name a few. We encourage you to explore the resources and the models we have identified as exceptional enough to both integrate into our work and share with others.