A Peer Observation of Teaching Process for Faculty who Teach Online

Cheryl Murphy, Elizabeth Stover


Peer observation of teaching (POT) is a process used to assist faculty who want to improve teaching.  However, it is unclear how to incorporate this practice with online faculty.  Additionally, barriers including time, ambiguity of review processes, and unqualified reviewers can hinder participation in POT activities.  To address these issues a POT process that incorporated recognized standards, communicated the process, trained reviewers, and limited observation times was implemented for online faculty.  Results indicated the quantity of changes made to observed courses were nearly double those of unobserved courses, and observed faculty made 29% more updates than unobserved peer counterparts.  Observed courses experienced a larger percentage of substantial changes (35%) than unobserved course (10%), and substantial changes made by observed faculty (37%) was higher than unobserved faculty (7%).  Reviewers reported that performing observations was an invaluable experience, and recommendations for future policies suggest addressing time, ambiguity, and training issues.


POT; peer review; formative; online teaching

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