Revised February, 2019
Peer Observation Processes
Soules College of Business
The University of Texas at Tyler
Statement of purpose of peer observation process:
The purpose of this policy is to honor the importance of teaching by providing a system for
formative feedback designed to strengthen teaching in the College of Business and Technology
at the University of Texas at Tyler. The university recognizes the essential contribution of its
faculty members to the quality of students’ education and learning experiences and supports
faculty development in all aspects of instruction. An effective tool for faculty development is
formative peer observation of teaching, which involves a constructive and open review of
teaching for the sole purpose of fostering improvement.
The goal of the peer observation process is to improve teaching and student learning and should
serve as a tool for mentoring. The peer observation process should foster a culture of teaching
excellence through collegial dialogue. Thus, the outcome of the faculty peer observation process
should be a reflective summary written by the observed faculty member describing any steps
taken or changes made towards the enhancement of teaching and improvement of student
A. Frequency of Peer Observations:
For tenure track Assistant Professors, peer observations will be conducted every other year
unless an unfavorable review determines the need for additional observations.
Tenured faculty will have a peer observation every three years. If a post-tenure review
determines that a tenured faculty member needs to improve in the area of teaching, more
frequent peer observations can be scheduled.
Beginning fall 2015 full-time lecturers, senior lecturers, visiting faculty, and clinical faculty
would be observed every three years.
The Associate Dean will develop and maintain a rotation schedule for observations.
B. Timeline for peer observation process:
Chairpersons should identify and notify each faculty member who will be observed by a peer
at least two weeks prior to the beginning of that semester. The chairperson and faculty
member should determine in which course the observation will occur and in which semester.
A recommended timeline is provided below.
Revised February, 2019
Responsible Party
At least two weeks* prior to
first day of the semester.
Provide Faculty Member with
department guidelines.
Department chair or unit head
or equivalent
No later than the third week of
the semester.
Provide the names of three
acceptable Observers to chair.
Faculty Member
No later than fourth week of
Assign Peer Observer
Department chair
No later than fifth week of
Meet to discuss teaching
materials and set date(s) for
Faculty Member and Peer
No later than twelfth week of
Peer observation(s)
Peer Observer
Within one week of
Post-observation meeting
Faculty Member and Peer
No later than last day of class.
Peer Observation Report
provided to chair.
Faculty Member
* In the event a faculty member is hired within one month of the beginning of a semester, their
observation would be moved to the next semester to allow reasonable notification.
Section A of the Peer Observation Report will be provided to the department chair or unit
head or equivalent (or to the dean in the event the faculty member being observed is the
department chair) no later than the last day of classes for the semester in which the
observation takes place. The department chair, unit head, or equivalent or dean will file the
report with the Faculty Member’s record.
By October 1 each year, the unit responsible for peer observation of teaching will submit to
the Provost’s office a list of faculty who were observed during the prior academic year.
C. Process for identifying peer observers
All full-time faculty in the College of Business and Technology may serve as Peer
Observers. Faculty members will generally conduct no more than two peer observations in
any academic year.
D. Description of how detailed guidance and opportunity for training will be provided to
Before peer observations are conducted peer observers shall be provided detailed guidance
and opportunities for training on effective observation procedures using observation
instruments, pre- and post- observation conferencing, and on the preparation of summary
statements based on observations.
E. Assurance that observed faculty members will have a say in the selection of peer
Revised February, 2019
Faculty members will submit three peer observers from a list of approved observers. The
observer may come from any department within the College of Business and Technology, but
must be at least at the same rank as the instructor.
F. Number of visits per observation
The number of observations is at the discretion of the faculty member and peer observer. A
minimum of one visit is required.
G. Assurance that class visits will occur only after prior notification and discussion with
the faculty member being observed:
Observations will be conducted in accordance with the table in section B. of this document.
H. In classes consisting of lecture and lab will both lecture and lab be observed?
In classes consisting of lecture and lab the number of observations is at the discretion of the
faculty member and peer observer.
I. Description of content of peer observation report: (Refer to Appendix A for required
i. Number and title of course observed
ii. Date of report
iii. Name and signature of observer
iv. Date of pre-observation meeting between observer and instructor, at which the
syllabus and assignments are reviewed, special instructor concerns are addressed,
and a mutually agreed class and date are specified
v. Date of classroom or online observation
vi. An instrument that reflects methods by which instructor engages students in
active learning
vii. Date of post-observation meeting of observer with instructor, at which the
observation was discussed
viii. Instructor’s signature affirming that the discussions took place
and Sections B and C.
J. Attach observation instrument(s) that will be used by the unit.
Peer observation instrument is in Appendix B below.
Revised February, 2019
Description of requirements for pre- and post-observation meetings.
The purpose of the pre-observation meeting between the peer observer and instructor is to
help the observer understand the context of the classroom, receive and review a copy of
the syllabus and selected instructional materials, address special instructor concerns, and
mutually agree on a class and date for the observation. The observation instrument will
be reviewed and discussed as part of the pre-observation conference. For online courses
the aforementioned information can be shared electronically through the use of
appropriate technologies.
A post observation conference must take place soon after the observation. During the
post-observation session the instructor will receive a Peer Observation Report prepared
by the peer observer. The report will include observed strengths and suggested areas for
improvement (Section B). Feedback should be constructive, specific, focused, action
oriented, clear, honest and positively phrased. The instructor will prepare a summary
statement on how he/she will use suggestions from the observation Section C).
K. Statement regarding the confidential nature of the peer observation report and pre-and
post-observation meetings.
The Peer Observation Report is considered “collegial communication” between observer and
instructor. Section B of the Observation Report is considered to be confidential and will not
be submitted to the department by the observer. It may be given to the department by the
Approved by:
Dean: __________________________________ Date: _________________
Provost: ________________________________ Date: _________________
Revised February, 2019
Appendix A Peer Observation Report Requirements
Section A
(This section must be included in T&P package)
Faculty Member: ________________________________ Date: ______________________
Course: ____________________________________________
Observer: __________________________________________
Date of Pre-Observation Meeting: _______________
Date of Observation: _____________________
Date of Post-Observation Meeting: ______________
Peer Observer’s Signature
Instructor’s Signature Affirming the Discussions Occurred
Section B
(Written report of what was observed and given to faculty member by peer observer)
Section C
(Narrative prepared by observed faculty member describing what was learned from the
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Appendix B Peer Observation instrument
Peer Observation Checklist
Faculty member being observed _________________________ Course _________________________________
Observer ___________________________________________________ Date ___________________________
(check if yes)
Faculty colleague clearly
the purpose of class session and
instructional activities.
Faculty colleague uses concrete
examples and illustrations that
clarify the material.
Faculty colleague uses a variety of
activities to ensure all students
are engaged.
Faculty colleague challenges
students to
think analytically.
Faculty colleague uses activities in
class to determine whether
understand course material.
Faculty colleague fosters student-
to student interaction.
Faculty colleague links new
material to previously learned
Faculty colleague uses visuals and
handouts where appropriate to
accompany verbal presentation.
Faculty colleague requires students
to be active (e.g., completing a
task, applying concepts, or
engaging in discussion instead of
passively listening).
Students are comfortable asking
Students actively participate in
class activities and discussion.
Include comments on next page
Revised February, 2019
Additional comments/observations:
Major strengths demonstrated by faculty colleague in this peer observation:
Suggested areas for faculty colleague’s improvement based upon this peer observation:
Source:, Adapted for The University of Texas at Tyler Soules
College of Business