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Definition of Peer Review

Definition of Peers

Types of Reviews

Formative Procedures

Summative Procedures

Summary of Best Practices

References and Resources


Types of Peer Review

The terms formative evaluation and summative evaluation have generally been adopted for their usefulness in the evaluation of teaching just as these terms have been used in program evaluation. It is critical to start the review process by defining the goals and use of any evaluation activities.

Formative evaluation describes activities that are to provide teachers with information that they can use to improve their teaching. The information is intended for their personal use, rather than public inspection. As a result, formative evaluation frequently is less formal, focuses on specific aspects of teaching, is ongoing, and includes a wide range of activities. It is a basis for the development of effective teaching throughout a career.


Summative evaluation describes activities that are conducted to gain information needed to make personnel decisions such as promotion, reappointment, tenure, or comprehensive review of tenured faculty relative to teaching performance. Consequently, the information collected becomes part of the faculty personnel file. It is often more general and comparative in nature. It may provide results of ratings or rankings, or summary information. The information should provide comparative information which enables the evaluator to determine the quality of teaching performance with respect to the performance of other peers.



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Last Updated:
Wednesday, September 24, 2003