Appendix C
Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching

This report has emphasized the importance of using multiple approaches in evaluating teaching effectiveness. As discussed in Chapters 4 and 5, feedback from faculty colleagues can be a highly useful source of information for improving teaching and learning. However, research has indicated that faculty colleagues can be far more effective in this role if they are trained in how to conduct peer evaluations and if they work from an accepted set of criteria.

The forms included in this appendix serve as examples of peer evaluation surveys. French-Lazovik’s (1981) form is designed to assist faculty in evaluating their colleagues on the basis of written materials that are provided in a dossier. The forms from Syracuse University and The University of Texas outline behaviors that colleagues can observe directly when they visit their colleagues’ classrooms.

Form

Found on Page(s)

From French-Lazovik (1981): Suggested Form for Peer Review of Undergraduate Teaching Based on Dossier Materials

186–187

Syracuse University: Classroom Observation Worksheet

188–192

University of Texas at Austin, Center for Teaching Effectiveness: Checklist of Teaching Skills

193–195



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Appendix C Examples of Questions for Conducting Peer Evaluations of Teaching This report has emphasized the importance of using multiple approaches in evaluating teaching effectiveness. As discussed in Chapters 4 and 5, feedback from faculty colleagues can be a highly useful source of information for improving teaching and learning. However, research has indicated that faculty colleagues can be far more effective in this role if they are trained in how to conduct peer evaluations and if they work from an accepted set of criteria. The forms included in this appendix serve as examples of peer evaluation surveys. French-Lazovik’s (1981) form is designed to assist faculty in evaluating their colleagues on the basis of written materials that are provided in a dossier. The forms from Syracuse University and The University of Texas outline behaviors that colleagues can observe directly when they visit their colleagues’ classrooms. Form Found on Page(s) From French-Lazovik (1981): Suggested Form for Peer Review of Undergraduate Teaching Based on Dossier Materials 186–187 Syracuse University: Classroom Observation Worksheet 188–192 University of Texas at Austin, Center for Teaching Effectiveness: Checklist of Teaching Skills 193–195

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SUGGESTED FORM FOR PEER REVIEW OF UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING BASED ON DOSSIER MATERIALS QUESTION DOSSIER MATERIALS SUGGESTED FOCUS IN EXAMING DOSSIER MATERIAL 1. What is the quality of materials used in teaching? Course outline Syllabus Reading list Text used Study guide Description of non-print materials Hand-outs Problem sets Assignments Are these materials currents? Do they represent the best work in the field? Are they adequate and appropriate to course goals? Do they represent superficial or thorough coverage of course content? Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low Very High   Comments _________________________________ 2. What kind of intellectual tasks were set by the teacher for the students (or did the teacher succeed in getting students to set for themselves), and how did the students perform? Copies of graded examinations Examples of graded research papers Examples of teacher’s feedback to To students on written work Grade distribution Descriptions of student performances, e.g., class presentations, etc. Examples of completed assignments What was the level of intellectual performance achieved by the students? What kind of work was given an A? a B? a C? Did the students learn what the department curriculum expected for this course? How adequately do the tests or assignments represent the kinds of student performance in the course objective? Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low Very High   Comments ______________________ 3. How knowledgeable is this faculty member in subjects taught? Evidence in teaching materials Record of attendance at regional or national meetings Record of colloquia or lecture given Has the instructor kept in thoughtful contact with developments in his or her field? Is there evidence of acquaintance with the ideas and findings of other scholars? (This question addresses the scholarship necessary to good teaching. It is not concerned with scholarly research publication.) Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low Very High   Comments _____________________

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4. Has this faculty member assumed responsibilities related to the department’s or University’s teaching mission? Record of service on department curriculum committee, honors program, advising board of teaching, special committees (e.g., to examine grading policies, admission standards, etc. Description of activities in supervising graduate students learning to teach. Evidence of design of new courses Has he or she become departmental or college citizen in regard to teaching responsibilities? Does this faculty member recognize problems that hinder good teachings and does he or she take a responsible part in trying to solve them? Is the involvement of the faculty member appropriate to his or her academic level? (e.g., assistant professors may sometimes become over-involved to the detriment of their scholarly and teaching activities.) Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low Very High   Comments ___________________ 5. To what extent is this faculty member trying to achieve excellence in teaching? Factual statement of what activities the faculty member has engaged in to improve his or her teaching. Examples of questionnaires used for formative purposes. Examples of changes made on the basis of feedback. Has he or she sought feedback about teaching quality, explored alternative teaching methods, made changes to increase student learning? Has he or she sought aid in trying new teaching ideas? Has he or she developed special teaching materials or participated in cooperative efforts aimed at upgrading teaching quality? Peer Reviewer’s Rating: Low Very High   Comments ________________________   Peer Reviewer’s Signature ______________ Date _____________________________   SOURCE: French-Lazovik (1981).

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Syracuse University Resource B: Sample Forms Classroom Observation Worksheet Instructor ____________ Course ____________ Date _____________ Observer _____________ Directions: Below is a list of instructor behaviors that may occur within a given class or course. Please use it as guide to making observations, not as a list of required characteristics. When this worksheet is used for making improvements to instruction, it is recommended that the instructor highlight the areas to be focused on before the observation takes place. Respond to each statement using the following scale: Not observed More emphasis Accomplished very well 1 2 3 Circle the number at the right that best represents your response. Use the comment space below each section to provide more feedback or suggestions. Content Organization Not Observed More emphasis Recommended Accomplished very Well   1 2 3 1.Made clear statement of the purpose of the lesson. 1 2 3 2.Defined relationship of this lesson to previous lessons 1 2 3 3.Presented overview of the lesson 1 2 3

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4. Presented topics with a logical sequence 1 2 3 5. Paced lesson appropriately 1 2 3 6. Summarized major points of lesson 1 2 3 7. Responded to problems raised during lesson 1 2 3 8. Related today’s lesson to future lessons 1 2 3 Comments: Reflective Faculty Evaluation Presentation Not Observed More emphasis Recommended Accomplished very Well   1 2 3 9 Projected voice so easily heard 1 2 3 10. Used intonation to vary emphasis 1 2 3 11. Explained things with clarity 1 2 3 12. Maintained eye contact with students 1 2 3 13. Listened to student questions and comments 1 2 3 14. Projected nonverbal gestures consistent with intentions 1 2 3 15. Defined unfamiliar terms, concepts, and principles 1 2 3

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16. Presented examples to clarify points 1 2 3 17. Related new ides to familiar concepts 1 2 3 18. Restated important ideas at appropriate times 1 2 3 19. Varied explanations for complex and difficult material 1 2 3 20. Used humor appropriately to strengthen retention and interest 1 2 3 21. Limited use of repetitive phrases and hanging articles. 1 2 3 Comments: Resource B: Sample Forms Instructor-Student Interactions Not Observed More emphasis Recommended Accomplished very Well   1 2 3 22. Encouraged student questions 1 2 3 23. Encouraged student discussion 1 2 3 24. Maintained student attention 1 2 3 25. Asked questions to monitor students’ progress 1 2 3 26. Gave satisfactory answers to student questions 1 2 3 27. Responded to nonverbal cues of confusion, boredom, and curiosity 1 2 3

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28. Paced lesson to allow time for note taking 1 2 3 29. Encouraged students to answer difficult questions 1 2 3 30. Asked probing questions when student answer was incomplete 1 2 3 31. Restated questions and answers when necessary 1 2 3 32. Suggested questions of limited interest to be handled outside of class 1 2 3 Comments: Reflective Faculty Evaluation Instructional Materials and Environment Not Observed More emphasis Recommended Accomplished very Well   1 2 3 33. Maintained adequate classroom facilities 1 2 3 34. Prepared students for the lesson with appropriate assigned readings 1 2 3 35. Supported lesson with useful classroom discussions and exercises 1 2 3 36. Presented helpful audio-visual materials to support lesson organization and major points 1 2 3

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37. Provided relevant written assignments 1 2 3 Comments: Content Knowledge And Relevance Not Observed More emphasis Recommended Accomplished very Well   1 2 3 38. Presented material worth knowing 1 2 3 39. Presented material appropriate to student knowledge and background 1 2 3 40. Cited authorities to support statements 1 2 3 41. Presented material appropriate to stated purpose of course 1 2 3 42. Made distinctions between fact and opinion 1 2 3 43. Presented divergent viewpoints when appropriate 1 2 3 44. Demonstrated command of subject matter 1 2 3 Comments: Resource B: Sample Forms 45. What overall impressions do you think students left this lesson with in terms of content or style? 46. What were the instructor’s major strengths as demonstrated in this observation? 47. What suggestions do you have for improving upon this instructor’s skills?

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Checklist of Teaching Skills* Instructor: ______________ Class: _______________ Observer: _______________ Date: _______________ Directions: Respond to each of the following statements by checking the blank which corresponds to your observation. Yes = Observed No = Not observed; would have been appropriate NA = Not applicable Importance and Suitability of Content Yes Some times No NA Comments 1. Students seemed to have the necessary background to understand the lecture material ____ ____ ____ ____   2. The examples used drew upon student experiences. ____ ____ ____ ____ 3. When appropriate, a distinction was made between factual material and opinions. ____ ____ ____ ____ 4. When applicable, appropriate authorities were cited to support statements. ____ ____ ____ ____ 5. When appropriate, divergent viewpoints were presented. ____ ____ ____ ____ 6. An appropriate amount of material was included in the lecture ____ ____ ____ ____ Organization and Clarity 7. Stated the purpose of the class session. ____ ____ ____ ____ 8. Presented a brief overview of the content. ____ ____ ____ ____ 9. Made explicit the relationship between today’s and other aspects of the course. ____ ____ ____ ____ 10. Defined new terms, concepts and principles. ____ ____ ____ ____ 11. Arranged and discussed the content in a systematic and organized fashion. ____ ____ ____ ____ 12. Asked questions periodically to determine whether too much or too little information was being presented. ____ ____ ____ ____ 13. Presented clear and simple examples to clarify very abstract and difficult ideas. ____ ____ ____ ____ 14. Used alternate explanations when necessary. ____ ____ ____ ____ 15. Explicitly stated the relationships among various ideas. ____ ____ ____ ____ 16. Periodically summarized the most important ideas. ____ ____ ____ ____ 17. Slowed the word flow when ideas were complex and difficult. ____ ____ ____ ____ 18. Did not often digress from the main topic. ____ ____ ____ ____ 19. Summarized the main ideas. ____ ____ ____ ____ 20. Related the day’s material to upcoming sessions. ____ ____ ____ ____ Activities 21. Used a variety of activities in the class. ____ ____ ____ ____ 22. Activities used were appropriate for this class. ____ ____ ____ ____ 23. Instructions for activities were clear. ____ ____ ____ ____ 24. Sufficient time was given to complete the activities. ____ ____ ____ ____ 25. The students were actively involved. ____ ____ ____ ____ 26. Debriefing of the activity was student-centered. ____ ____ ____ ____ © 1992 Ctr. for Teaching Effectiveness, The University of Texas at Austin

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Use of Questions Yes Some times No NA Comments 31. Asked questions to see what the students knew about the lecture topic. ____ ____ ____ ____   32. Addressed questions to individual students as well as the group at large. ____ ____ ____ ____ 33. Used questions to gain students’ attention. ____ ____ ____ ____ 34. Paused after all questions to allow students time to think of an answer. ____ ____ ____ ____ 29. Encouraged students to answer difficult questions by providing cues or rephrasing. ____ ____ ____ ____ 30. When necessary, asked students to clarify their questions. ____ ____ ____ ____ 31. Asked probing questions if a student’s answer was incomplete or superficial. ____ ____ ____ ____ 32. Repeated answers when necessary so the entire class could hear. ____ ____ ____ ____ 33. Received student questions politely and enthusiastically. ____ ____ ____ ____ 34. Requested that very difficult, time-consuming questions of limited interest be discussed before or after class or during office hours. ____ ____ ____ ____ Interaction 35. Established and maintained eye contact with the class. ____ ____ ____ ____ 36. Listened carefully to student comments and questions. ____ ____ ____ ____ 37. Facial and body movements did not contradict speech or expressed intentions (e.g., waited for responses after asking for questions). ____ ____ ____ ____ 38. Noted and responded to signs of puzzlement, boredom, curiosity, etc. ____ ____ ____ ____ 39. Encouraged student questions. ____ ____ ____ ____ Use of Media 27. Writing on board/overhead/slides was legible. ____ ____ ____ ____ 28. Information presented on board/overhead/slides was organized and easy to follow. ____ ____ ____ ____ 29. The AV-materials used added to the students’ comprehension of the concept(s) being taught. ____ ____ ____ ____ 30. The AV-materials were handled competently (e.g., the instructor did not walk in front of the image for overhead or slide projector; the instructor spoke to the class, not the screen or board; etc.). ____ ____ ____ ____ Individual Style 40. Voice could be easily heard. ____ ____ ____ ____ 41. Voice was raised or lowered for variety and emphasis. ____ ____ ____ ____ 42. Speech was neither too formal nor too casual. ____ ____ ____ ____ 43. Speech fillers (e.g., "ok now", "ahmm", etc.) were not distracting. ____ ____ ____ ____ 44. Rate of speech was neither too fast nor too slow. ____ ____ ____ ____ 45. Wasn’t too stiff and formal in appearance. ____ ____ ____ ____ 46. Wasn’t too casual in appearance. ____ ____ ____ ____ 47. Varied the pace of the lecture to keep students alert. ____ ____ ____ ____ 48. Spoke at a rate which allowed students time to take notes. ____ ____ ____ ____

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Comments: * Adapted from material in Improving Your Lectures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Used by permission.