LEARN Center
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Peer Coaching Program Description

The Peer Coaching Program offers interested faculty and academic teaching staff the chance to engage in formative teaching improvement by working with a knowledgeable faculty member from outside their department for an entire semester. It provides participants an opportunity to assess, experiment and develop teaching skills by working with an individual not involved in their tenure/promotion/merit decisions. All interactions and exchanges are completely confidential.

The ever-expanding literature on faculty development suggests that of all methods used to improve teaching and enhance student learning, few report the dividends that compare to that of working directly with a fellow instructor. Formative peer evaluation is a process that allows instructors to reinvigorate, revisit, review and/or revamp their teaching.

Program Design

The Peer Coaching Program is designed using a series of "best practices" culled from the growing literature on effective formative peer review. In general, the program pairs a participant with a Peer Coach, providing many opportunities for meeting and interaction. Participants will (based on discussions and with their coach) complete some or all of the following:

  • an initial meeting with the Peer Coach to review the process and discuss the specific goals, challenges, teaching philosophy, concerns, etc.;
  • a review and discussion of syllabi, assignments, exams and other relevant course materials
  • a meeting with the Peer Coach prior to each classroom observation session (three observations, including one videotaped, are recommended);
  • complete a brief self-review and meet with the Peer Coach after each observation session; meet with the Peer Coach to; and
  • complete a final self-evaluation and review of the program.

The process will likely require approximately 15-18 hours over the course of the semester. All interactions, evaluations and reports (except the participant evaluation of the program) are confidential—shared only between the participant and the Peer Coach.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Peer Coaching Program include:

  1. providing participants an opportunity to assess, experiment with and develop their teaching by working with an individual not involved in the tenure/promotion/merit decisions;
  2. exposing instructors to alternate instructional methodologies, assignments, philosophies etc.;
  3. provide an opportunity for faculty and academic teaching staff to think reflectively about their experiences as an instructor, personal pedagogical philosophies, and student learning; and
  4. developing collegial relationships between faculty and academic teaching from departments across the campus.

Peer Coaches

The LEARN Center Faculty Advisory Board has helped identify and recruit a corps of Peer Coaches from across the campus. These are faculty who were invited to work as Peer Coaches not only because of their teaching effectiveness, but also because of their ability to provide constructive feedback and to develop collegial relationships.

For More Information

If you have questions or would like more information about the Peer Coaching Program, please contact the LEARN Center (X5242; learn@uww.edu).