Observation for Summative (Evaluative) Purposes
Summative peer observation involves the evaluation of peer classroom
behavior to provide teaching effectiveness information used for merit,
promotion, tenure decisions, or other personnel actions. Typically a departmental
Ad Hoc Committee consisting of several faculty members perform the observation.
In addition to the classroom observation, faculty involved in the summative
review examine course materials such as the syllabus, tests, student projects,
examples of students' work, student evaluations, and other related materials
such as a teaching portfolio to obtain a more complete picture of the
faculty member's teaching effectiveness.
Choosing or designing a peer observation
The department and/or college should choose or
design an observation instrument/s that is appropriate for the discipline
and the type of class being observed. Peer evaluations of a faculty member's
classroom behaviors can be based on this departmental form which may include
checklists, rating scales, and written commentary.
Recommendations for Summative Peer
Review Committee Members
- Observers (reviewers) must respect the observed instructor. A faculty
member with a strong difference of opinion or dislike for a peer may
have difficulty being a fair observer.
- Each observer should have a pre-observation conference with the
instructor to discuss the instructor's objectives for the class and
to review course materials. The observed instructor is allowed to
ask questions about the process.
- Each committee member should arrange to observe from three to four
complete class sessions. If the instructor teaches in more than one
venue (large class, lab, graduate students), the observers should
arrange to observe in more than one venue.
- Observers write a summary report that clearly represents observation
results. Recommendations should be accompanied with specific examples
or observation particulars.