Who are peer reviewers?
The word peer means "a person of equal standing" but in the
context of the peer review of teaching the definition is expanded to include
faculty members of the same or different ranks who might also be referred
to as colleagues or mentors.
For formative reviews of teaching, the peer reviewers
may be colleagues of any rank mutually agreed upon by the faculty member
and the department head or academic administrator. The peer reviewers
may be selected from inside or outside the department. In small departments
or in highly specialized disciplines, it may be difficult to find colleagues
who can provide the requested insights within the same department. Whenever
possible formative reviewers should be knowledgeable of the discipline
and/or the pedagogical strategies being applied. Ideally, the formative
reviewer/s should not participate in the summative review process.
In summative reviews of teaching, the peer reviewers
are typically colleagues of the same or higher rank who are members of
the department's personnel committee. The purpose of the review is to
provide a basis for making a personnel recommendation on reappointment,
promotion, tenure or other performance assessment related to teaching
performance. Summative review may include review by outside experts of
course materials. Whenever possible the summative reviewer/s should be
different from the formative reviewer/s.