Peer Observation of Teaching in E-learning environments in UK Universities

Zeynep Kacmaz

Abstract


Peer observation of teaching (POT) is presented as a valuable mechanism allowing for the dissemination of ‘best practice’ within university teaching. With the rapid rise of online learning courses, it could be expected that POT would be extended to the online environment. In practice, however, it appears that this development is inconsistent. Likewise, there has been little research into the experiences of teachers of online teaching, with research focused more on the technological aspects than on the delivery of teaching. Using a document analysis of a sample of UK universities and interviews with academics to assess a cross section of current institutional practice, this paper explores the intersection between POT and the online delivery of teaching and learning. The findings indicate that POT has not yet become a standard evaluative and/or developmental process in e-learning environments, although some universities do implement it within their CPD or teacher training programmes.

Keywords


Peer observation of teaching, e-learning, online learning, best practice, continuous professional development

Full Text:

PDF

References


Allen, L. (2002) “Consenting Adults in Private” Union and Management Perspectives on Peer Observation of Teaching. Generic Centre: Learning and Teaching Support Network, February 2004.

ALT (2013) Changing the learning landscape. Occasional Paper, CLL Consortium. Available at: http://repository.alt.ac.uk/2310/1/ALT_Occasional_paper_CLL_Project_2013.pdf (Accessed: 02 August 2014).

Armellini, A and Jones, S (2008) ‘Carpe Diem: seizing each day to foster change in e-learning design.’ Reflecting Education, 4(1),17-29. Available at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/beyond-distance-research-alliance/learning%20inn/media/Carpe%20Diem%20seizing%20each%20day%20to%20foster%20change%20in%20e-learning%20design.pdf (Accessed: 24 August 2014).

Atkinson D.J., and Bolt, S. (2010) ‘Using teaching observations to reflect upon and improve teaching practice in higher education.’ Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(3), 1-19. Available at: http://josotl.indiana.edu/article/viewFile/1798/1795 (Accessed: 24 August 2014).

Baker, J.D., Redfield, K.D. and Tonkin, S. (2006) ‘Collaborative Coaching and Networking for Online Instructors.’ Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 9(4). Available at: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter94/baker94.htm (Accessed: 25 August 2014).

Baran, E., Correia, A.P. and Thompson, A. (2011) ‘Transforming online teaching practice: critical analysis of the literature on the roles and competencies of online teachers.’ Distance Education, 32(3), 421-439. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2011.610293 (Accessed: 04 July 2014).

Beckton, J. and Penney, E. (2011) Peer observation of on-line teaching in a

Distance learning environment. Blackboard Users Group Conference, 6th-7th January 2011, Durham. Available at: http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/3953/ (Accessed: 17 June 2013).

Bell, M. and Cooper, P. (2013) ‘Peer observation of teaching in university departments: a framework for implementation.’ International Journal for Academic Development, 18(1), 60-73. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2011.633753 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Bennet, S, and Barp, D. (2008) ‘Peer Observation - a case for doing it online.’

Teaching in Higher Education, 13(5), 559-570. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562510802334871 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Bennet, S. and Santy J. (2009) ‘A window on our teaching practice: Enhancing individual online teaching quality though online peer observation and support. A UK case study.’ Nurse Education in Practice 9, 403-406. Available at: http://www.nurseeducationinpractice.com/article/S1471-5953(09)00020-1/abstract (Accessed:15 June 2013).

Chism, N. V. N. (2007) Peer Review of Teaching: A Sourcebook, 2nd edition.

San Francisco: Anker & Jossey-Bass.

Connolly, M., Jones, C. and Jones, N. (2007) ‘New approaches, new vision: capturing teacher experiences in a brave new online world.’ Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 22(1), 43-56. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02680510601100150 (Accessed: 04 July 2014).

Cosh, J. (1999) ‘Peer observation: a reflective model.’ ELT Journal,

(1), 22-27. Available at: http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Exley, K. (2014) Peer Review of Teaching. Available at: http://www.bath.ac.uk/learningandteaching/advance-your-teaching/peer-review.html (Accessed: 12 August 2014).

Fazackerley, A. (2013) ‘Why are many academics on short-term contracts for years?’ Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/feb/04/academic-casual-contracts-higher-education (Accessed: 21 August 2014).

Goodyear, P., Salmon G., Specter J.M., Steeples C. and Tickner, S. (2001) ‘Competences for Online Teaching: A Special Report.’ ETR&D, 49(1), 65-72. Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02504508 (Accessed: 24 August 2014).

Gosling, D. (2002) Models of peer observation of teaching. Generic Centre: Learning and Teaching Support Network.

Gosling, D. (2005) Peer Observation of Teaching, SEDA Paper 118. London: Staff and Educational Development Association.

Gosling D. and O’Connor, K.M. (2009) Beyond the Peer Observation of

Teaching, SEDA Paper 124, London: Staff and Educational Development

Association.

Gosling D. (2014) ‘Collaborative Peer-Supported Review of Teaching.’ Chapter 2 in: Sachs, J. and Parsell, M. (eds.) Peer Review of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: International Perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.

Grove J. and King, J. ( 2015) ‘How might a teaching excellence framework be built?’ Times Higher Education, 23 July 2015. Available at: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/teaching-excellence-framework-tef-how-might-it-be-built. (Accessed: 18 January 2016).

Hammersely-Fletcher, L. and Orsmond, P. (2004) ‘Evaluating our peers: is peer observation a meaningful process?’ Studies in Higher Education, 29(4), 489-503. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0307507042000236380 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Hammersley-Fletcher, L. and Orsmond, P. (2005) ‘Reflecting on reflective practices within peer observation.’ Studies in Higher Education, 30(2), 213-224. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075070500043358 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Harper, F. and Nicolson, M. (2012) ‘Online peer observation: its value in teacher professional development, support and well-being.’ International Journal for Academic Development: 1-12. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2012.682159 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Hinson J.M. and LaPrairie, K.N. (2005) ‘Learning to Teach Online: Promoting Success through Professional Development.’ Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 29(6), 483-493. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10668920590934198 (Accessed: 04 July 2014).

Kraglund-Gaulthier, W. L., Chareka, O., Orr, A.M. and Forran, A. (2010) ‘Teacher Education in Online Classrooms: An Inquiry into Instructors’ Lived Experiences.’ The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1(2) 1-11. Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cjsotl_rcacea/vol1/iss2/4/ (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Lomas,L. and Kinchin, I. (2006) 'Developing a Peer Observation Program with University Teachers.' Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 18(3), 204-214. Available at: http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/pdf/IJTLHE118.pdf (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

McMahon, T., Barrett, T. and O'Neill, G. (2007) 'Using observation of teaching to improve quality: finding your way through competing conceptions, confusion of practice and mutually exclusive intentions.' Teaching in Higher Education, 12(4), 499-511. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562510701415607 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Mason, R. and Rennie, F. (2006) ELearning: the Key Concepts. Oxford: Routledge.

McKenzie, J. and Parker, N. (2011) Peer Review in Online and Blended Learning

Environments: Final Report, Australian Learning and Teaching Council, South

Australia. Available at: http://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/final-report.pdf (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

Owen, D. (2015) ‘How to build the teaching excellence framework.’ Times Higher Education, 10 July 2015. Available at: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/how-build-teaching-excellence-framework (Accessed: 18 January 2016).

Rogers, S. (2013) Teaching in Virtual Classroom in Gornall, L. Cook, C. and L. Daunton(eds) Academic Working Lives: Experience, Practice and Change, 2013, London: Bloomsbury Academic

Shortland, S. (2004) 'Peer Observation: a tool for staff development or compliance?' Journal of Further and Higher Education, 29(2), 219-28. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877042000206778 (Accessed: 10 May 2012).

Shortland, S. (2010) ‘Feedback within peer observation: continuing professional development and unexpected consequences.’ Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(3), 295-304. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2010.498181 (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

SOAS (date unavailable) Guidelines for the Peer Observation of Teaching. Available at: www.soas.ac.uk/staffdevelopment/documents/file41580.doc (Accessed: 14 August 2014).

Swenson, P. and Taylor N.A. (2012) Online Teaching in the Digital Age. Los Angeles: Sage.

Swinglehurst, D., Russell, J. and Greenhalgh, T. (2008) ‘Peer observation of teaching in the online environment: an action research approach.’ Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(5), 383-393. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2007.00274.x (Accessed: 15 June 2013).

QAA (2016) Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice, QAA's Response. Available at: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/QAA-Green-Paper-Response-Jan-16.pdf

(Accessed: 18 January 2016).

Tonkin S. and Baker J.D. (2005) ‘Peer Coaching for Online Instruction:

An Emerging Model for Faculty Development.’ 19th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning. Available at: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/Resource_library/proceedings/03_31.pdf (Accessed: 25 August 2014).

UCISA (2014) 2014 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning. Available at: http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/tel (Accessed: 01 August 2014).

University of Bedfordshire (2014) Peer Support of Teaching Scheme. Available at: http://www.beds.ac.uk/learning/professional-development/peer-support (Accessed: 08 July 2014).

University of Bedfordshire (2012) Guide No 15 Peer Support of Teaching Scheme (2nd edition). Available at: http://www.beds.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/274159/CLE-Guide-15-Peer-Support-of-Teaching-Scheme.pdf (Accessed: 12 August 2014).

University of Cardiff (2013) Peer Review of Learning and Teaching Available at: http://learning.cf.ac.uk/peerreview (Accessed: 14 August 2014).

University of Hull (2014) Peer Support for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. Available at: http://www2.hull.ac.uk/administration/leap/learning_teaching/pselt.aspx (Accessed: 09 August 2104).

University of Leicester (2014) Peer Observation of Teaching. Available at: (http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/academic-practice/learning-and-teaching/observation-of-teaching (Accessed: 09 August 2104).

University of Wolverhampton (2013) Learning, Teaching and Assessment Sub-Strategy (2012-2017). Available at: http://www.wlv.ac.uk/staff/PDF/strategy-unit-Learning-Teaching-and-Assessment-Strategy-210312.pdf (Accessed: 10 July 2014).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21100/compass.v8i12.277

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.