Every few years, the Fearless Teaching Institute organizes a large-scale peer-teaching observation program by pairing up interested library instructors and providing guidance and support for mutual observations. The last peer observation pairing was conducted in 2018-19; the next one is scheduled for 2022-2023.
If you would like to conduct a peer observation during an off-year, please reach out to email@example.com. We will be able to help you find another interested instructor to pair with.
Alabi & Weare (2014) define two types of peer observation. Formative evaluation is intended for "personal use," rather than public inspection, and is private and confidential. Summative evaluation is intended for public review and is often a requirement of a tenure or permanent status process (Alabi & Weare, p. 181). The UMD Libraries' peer teaching observation program is formative - being observed and observing are optional, and the process remains confidential between the two parties.
Peer teaching observations are a collaborative process, in which colleagues observe each other with the intention of sharing instructional experiences. Librarians who participate in a peer observation program should approach the process with an open mindset and be committed to both giving and receiving constructive criticism. Teaching observations are not intended to be punitive or judgmental. Instead, the process should be a positive, productive, and affirmative experience for both observers and observees