UBC Peer Review of Teaching Initiative

UBC Peer Review of Teaching Initiative

UBC strongly endorses peer review and mentoring of teaching as aspects of academic culture that should be encouraged and permeate all academic units across the university.

The tabs above link to webpages that provide details of the support structures and the processes in place for Peer Review of Teaching (PRT) at UBC, both in a formative sense (in terms of professional development and growth as an educator) and for summative review (to inform decision making regarding re-appointment, promotion and tenure).

  • The UBC Context for Peer Review of Teaching provides both a short rationale for the importance of a credible peer review component in evaluation of teaching practice, plus the 2009 report of the UBCV working group of Peer Review of Teaching, which articulates the principles and guidelines for introducing a summative peer review of teaching process.
  • The Capacity Building for summative PRT provides details of the developments undertaken in 2010-11 to produce implementation plans within each Faculty for introduction of a summative PRT scheme, together with workshop materials provided to train Faculty leaders in PRT.
  • Support for formative PRT provides links to a Community of Practice (one of several developed within and supported by CTLT) that aims to encourage dialogue and holds regular events to support staff wishing to develop their expertise of and experience with formative PRT.
  • Additional resources links to other relevant material, including: UBC documentation for tenure, promotion and re-appointment processes (Faculty Relations); a video presentation detailing the interrelationship between formative and summative PRT; and a collection of relevant external links.

Principles for Summative Peer Review of Teaching

In 2009, a UBC working group developed Principles to guide the Summative Peer Review of Teaching processes developed. Since then, the principles have been implemented within each Faculty. More recently, the principles were revised to explicitly incorporate peer review in distance and blended online contexts.

To view the revised principles, see: Principles of Summative Peer Review

UBC Context for Peer Review of Teaching


Fuelled by global concerns about the quality of student learning experiences and the effectiveness of university teaching, there has been increasing attention to the evaluation of teaching in a broad array of institutional and disciplinary contexts in higher education [1]; [2]. Traditional approaches to the evaluation of university teaching have often resulted in the over-reliance on student evaluation of teaching data and/or ad-hoc peer-reviews of classroom teaching practices with numerous accounts of methodological shortcomings that tend to yield less useful (and less authentic) evaluations [3]. UBC has long recognized the importance of attending to the evaluation of teaching practices, however, the enactment of a campus-based approach and localized scholarship directed at these practices remains very much in its infancy. The UBC Peer Review of Teaching (PRT) Initiative places emphasis on scholarly approaches to formative and summative peer-review of teaching practices. A scholarly approach to peer-review of teaching is not only consistent with the ethos of a research-intensive university, it is also driven by institutional guidelines for the evaluation of teaching, the needs and circumstances of discipline-specific communities of practice, relevant literature and conceptual frameworks, systematic methodology for authentic assessment and evaluation, ethical considerations, and dissemination [4]; [5].


  1. Arreola, R. A. (2007). Developing a comprehensive faculty evaluation system: A guide to designing, building, and operating large-scale faculty evaluation systems (3rd ed.). Bolton, MA: Anker.
  2. Harris, K-L., Farrell, K., Bell, M., Devlin, M., & James, R. (2008). Peer review of teaching in Australian higher education: A handbook to support institutions in developing effective policies and practices. Australian Learning and Teaching Council Publication.
  3. Hammersley-Fletcher, L., & Orsmond, P. (2004). Evaluating our peers: is peer observation a meaningful process? Studies in Higher Education, 29(4), 489-503.
  4. Glassick, C. E., Huber, M. T., & Maeroff, G. I. (1997). Scholarship assessed: Evaluation of the professoriate. San Francisco, Ca: Jossey-Bass.
  5. Hubball, H.T., & Clarke, A. (2011). Scholarly approaches to peer-review of teaching: Emergent frameworks and outcomes in a research-intensive university. Transformative Dialogues Journal, 4(3), March.

Report of UBCV Working Group on Peer Review of Teaching

In 2008, a working group was tasked with developing principles and procedures for the formal summative evaluation of teaching, to inform decision making regarding re-appointment, promotion and tenure. Their report is available here:

Downloadable version of the Report of the UBCV Working Group on Peer Review of Teaching (in pdf format)

Capacity building for summative PRT

During 2010-11, a program was initiated to train nominated representatives from each Faculty in the principles and practice of the summative peer review of teaching process.

UBC leadership team for capacity building in summative PRT

  • Dr. Harry Hubball, Faculty of Education
  • Dr. Dan Pratt, Professor, Department of Educational Studies
  • Dr. Anthony Clarke, Professor, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Fran Watters, Director, Faculty Relations

Initial (2010-11) UBC Peer Review of Teaching Leaders

  • Professor Eric Hall (Applied Sciences),
  • Professor Claire Young (Law),
  • Professor David Fielding (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences),
  • Professor Anthony Clarke (Education),
  • Dr Simon Ellis (Forestry),
  • Professor Louise Nasmith (College of Health Disciplines),
  • Dr. Eli Whitney (Dentistry),
  • Dr. Ken Baimbridge (Medicine),
  • Professor Richard Price (Arts),
  • Professor Eunice Li-Chan (LFS),
  • Dr. Nora Angeles (College for Interdisciplinary Studies),
  • Professor Barbara Evans (Graduate Studies),
  • Professor Dan Skarlicki (Sauder School of Business)
  • Dr. Ian Cavers (Science)

Documentation and material from capacity building workshops

The UBC Peer Review of Teaching Initiative: Building on Faculty-specific Practices materials can be accessed below.

Support for formative PRT

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) has well-established programs and events designed to foster the formative aspects of peer review of teaching.

Additional Resources

You can find a variety of resources on the Peer Review of Teaching. Below are links to websites that focus on the subject, a list of academic references (journal articles, book chapters) and UBC resources on the peer review of teaching (i.e. departmental protocols and other).

If you have a resource that you would like to add, please email Isabeau Iqbal.

Sample Forms and Protocols for Classroom Observation

Provides a literature review on the formative peer review of teaching. This review examines the status of formative peer review in Australian universities, prerequisites for establishing a successful program, necessary elements of a formative peer review program, criteria for peer evaluation, and academics’ responses to formative peer review of teaching programs. This resource also provides observation forms for various types of reviews.
Provides information, advice, and a variety of tools to assist one in carrying out a peer review of teaching. This guide defines peer review of teaching, outlines the process of peer review, provides guidelines for reviewers, and also includes example proformas for both formative and summative peer reviews.
This sample classroom observation form looks at creating an objective summary of the class session, responding to critical questions about the instructor’s performance, and offering advice on improving teaching.
Provides various observation forms e.g., pre-observation meeting discussion guide, review of teaching materials checklist, online observation checklist, classroom observation forms in rating, checklist, and narrative formats. All forms are in Word and can be downloaded and modified.
Provides documents that define the peer review of teaching, provide recommendations for the use of peer review in formative and summative assessments of teaching, and suggest a format for reporting peer review of teaching data in dossiers for promotion and tenure.
These rubric examples from Utah Valley University allow one to determine whether the instructor’s dimensions of teaching are poor, acceptable, or excellent, and provides sources of evidence of when these situations may occur.

Resources for Online Peer Review of Teaching

Provides various observation forms e.g., observation of online instruction and checklist for online interactive learning. All forms are in Word and can be downloaded and modified.
Provides a process for peer review of online courses that can be adapted easily. Includes an instructor input form, a peer review guide and feedback form for the peer reviewer. All forms come in Word and PDF, and can be customized. Sample written documents created by peer reviewers can also be found here.
Checklist that focuses on the following elements in an online and hybrid course environment: variety and pacing of instruction, course design and usability, assessment and measurement, clarity, content knowledge, instructor-student interaction and use of technology.
This resource provides an online rubric for categories such as Learner Support, Online Organization, Instructional Design, Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning, Innovative Teaching with Technology, and Faculty Use of Student Feedback.
This resource is a checklist that focuses on feedback. A peer reviewer can tick whether or not the objectives of the course are non-existent, developing, or fully met.
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:UBC_Peer_Review_of_Teaching_Initiative