20 Minute Programs
Peer Reviews of Online Teaching: What Works Best?

Peer Reviews of Online Teaching: What Works Best?

When conducting online faculty peer reviews, guidance for the reviewer is vital. Starting with a set of standards is a critical first step that is sometimes neglected. We walk you through a step-by-step guide created at Penn State University. The guide is based on Chickering and Gamson’s "Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" and is adapted for online teaching.

How to Stay in Compliance

The peer review of teaching—like the peer review of research—is a widely accepted practice for assessing the quality of academic work and is required for promotion and tenure at many institutions.

When conducting online faculty peer reviews, guidance for the reviewer is vital.  Starting with a set of standards is a critical first step that is sometimes neglected.

This Magna 20-Minute Mentor program walks you through a step-by-step guide created by Ann Taylor, Director of the Dutton e-Education Institute, and her colleagues at Penn State University.  This guide was based on Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education and is adapted for online teaching

After watching this program, you will understand:

  • The importance of utilizing an online course peer review guide
  • How to effectively apply Chickering and Gamson’s “Seven Principles” in the online classroom
  • How to successfully use and complete the peer review guide, from creation to writing a follow-up summary report
  • How to customize the online course peer review resource for your institution
  • Where to find faculty development resources designed to support online teaching and the peer review process

Peer review helps ensure quality teaching.  Having a sound peer review guide will help you offer accurate and consistent feedback so you can maintain a high degree of pedagogical excellence.

Learning goals

By using the peer review guide outlined in this program, you can be sure your online courses follow these best practices:

  • Include an appropriate mix of contact between faculty and students
  • Involve reciprocity and cooperation between students
  • Incorporate active learning
  • Provide timely feedback
  • Emphasize time on task
  • Communicate high expectations
  • Respect for diverse talents and ways of learning

Use this guide as a planning tool at the start of the semester to help set your course expectations as well as provide a self-check throughout the class to ensure consistency.

This is a useful resource for any online instructor who wants to provide the best learning experience to his or her students.  

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