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Friday, March 09, 2012

How Do You Do Peer Review?

Assessing the teaching skills of our colleagues is notoriously difficult and is currently performed through two very imperfect methods: student evaluations and peer reviews. The problems with student evaluations have been amply covered in both the literature and the blogs, but I have not seen all that much on peer review, other than the usual complaints about the seemingly inevitable "Lake Wobegon effect." My school is currently looking at ways to make peer review more robust. So I would be interested in knowing how other schools do peer review and whether it provides a satisfactory assessment tool. In particular, I am interested in the following:

1. Do you have a written policy on peer review?

2. How often are peer reviews conducted -- once a semester, once a year, or only when someone is going up for promotion or tenure?

3. Are only pre-tenure faculty peer-reviewed or also tenured faculty?

4. Are visits to class for purposes of peer review pre-announced so that the faculty member being peer-reviewed knows ahead of time?

5. How many faculty conduct the peer review for each faculty member being peer-reviewed? If more than one, do they consult with one another and issue a joint report?

6. Is the faculty member conducting peer review generally in the same field as the faculty member being peer-reviewed?

7. How many class sessions does the faculty member conducting peer review attend?

8. Are the peer-reviewed faculty member's student's final examination answers (or other student work product) reviewed?

9. Do peer reviewers fill out a specific form in conducting peer review?

Posted by Michael J.Z. Mannheimer on March 9, 2012 at 02:19 PM in Life of Law Schools, Teaching Law | Permalink

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Thanks, Mike. If anyone has good, fair firms, those would be tremendously helpful. Thanks!

Posted by: Jen Kreder | Mar 9, 2012 3:19:45 PM

Forms. Still not good typing on the iPhone. Thanks.

Posted by: Jen Kreder | Mar 9, 2012 3:20:48 PM

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