Documentation:CTLT programs/PROT/Process

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How it works

The peer review process is organized around an online course observation. A peer reviewer will get “observer” access to the course, navigate the course and review a particular element of the online course, or learning sequence and provide the reviewee with formative feedback. Generally, the reviewer uses a checklist or rubrics that has been validated by the reviewee to generate a more complete observation of the online course.


Anyone interested in participating in the peer review of online teaching may contact an individual reviewer listed on our website. Details of the peer review process will be worked out between the reviewer and the reviewee and will revolve around the reviewee's goals.

Your goals for growth as a teacher are at the centre of this process and they will influence who you approach for--and how you structure--your review . That's why we encourage you to reflect carefully on your goals. If you are not sure what your goals are, you may wish to go to the "Resources" section and look at some sample protocols as these can provide ideas. For example, would you like to focus on how you use questions in your teaching? or how you pay attention to student diversity? or how you use the physical space for active learning? or something else? There are so many potential areas you could focus on. Select a small number (one is just fine!) and see how it plays out in various aspects of your teaching.

The following describes what happens before, during and after the classroom observation:

Part 1: Before the course review (once the reviewer has been determined)

  • The reviewee reflects further on their goals for peer review.
  • The reviewee decides which element of the online course will be reviewed and prepares a list of online modules (if course hosted on Canvas) or online materials (if course hosted outside of Canvas) the reviewer can choose from when scheduling an online review.
  • Before the online course review, the reviewee should plan and prepare for the online course as they normally would for a classroom observation. In addition, the reviewee must also prepare to brief the peer reviewer about their goals for the review, as well as any details relevant to the course and the class that will be observed. This pre-observation meeting document may help the reviewee prepare in advance of the first meeting with the peer reviewer(s).
  • Approximately one week before the online course review, the peer reviewers and reviewee meet for approximately one hour to set goals for the peer review process and to discuss the course, the reviewee’s development goals, and his/her plans for the online module or learning material to be reviewed.

Watch videos on:

Note: the focus of the videos is on face-to-face classroom teaching.

Part 2: Online Course Review

  • The reviewee releases the online module while the peer reviewer reviews the online material. The peer reviewers’ observation is guided by a set of questions (see post-observation discussion questions below) and any goals set before the course review meeting.

Watch the video on The classroom observation

Part 3: After the Online Course Review

  • The peer reviewer(s) will prepare a written report based on the reviewee’s goals and the online course review.
  • No more than a week (approximately) after the online course review, the reviewee and peer reviewer will meet to discuss the online review and the report. See here for post-observation discussion questions.
  • Following the meeting the peer reviewer may revise their report and send it to the reviewee. The reviewee may then choose to use the report to guide future curriculum or professional development or, in some cases, as evidence in a teaching portfolio, tenure and promotion request.

Watch the video on The post observation.