Documentation:CTLT programs/PRT/Process

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How it works

The peer review process is generally organized around a structured classroom observation. A peer reviewer will observe a participating educator (reviewee) teach a class and provide the reviewee with formative feedback based on what she or he observed during the class. For information about peer review of online teaching, please see the tab "online teaching".


Anyone interested in participating in the peer review of 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 classroom observation (once the reviewer has been determined)

  • The reviewee reflects further on their goals for peer review.
  • The reviewee decides which course will be observed and prepares a list of classes the reviewer can choose from when scheduling an observation.
  • Before the classroom observation, the reviewee should plan and prepare for the class as they normally would. 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 will help the reviewee prepare in advance of the first meeting with the peer reviewer(s).
  • Approximately one week before the classroom observation, 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 their plans for the class to be observed.

Watch videos on:

Part 2: Classroom Observation

  • The reviewee teaches their class while the peer reviewer observes the session. The peer reviewer's observation is guided by a set of questions (see classroom observation questions ) and any goals set at the pre-observation meeting.

Watch the video on The classroom observation

Part 3: After the classroom observation

  • The peer reviewer(s) prepare a written report based on the reviewee’s goals and the classroom observation.
  • The reviewee reflects on the classroom observation using the post-observation discussion questions.
  • Approximately a week after the classroom observation, the reviewee and peer reviewer will meet to discuss the classroom observation and the peer reviewer’s report.
  • Following the meeting the peer reviewer will make any necessary revisions to their report and send it to the reviewee.
  • The reviewee will apply their learning to future professional development, peer reviews, course design, and lesson planning. (We hope the reviewer will do the same!)
  • The reviewee may choose to use include the report in a teaching portfolio and/or tenure and promotion request (please ensure that the reviewers have agreed to this).

Watch the video on The post observation

If you're looking for information about the formative peer review of online teaching, please see the "online teaching" tab.