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Lynch School of Education

Proposal on Faculty Peer Observation of Teaching

motion passed

The following motion was recommended to the Dean on October 5, 2009 by the full EPC and formally approved by the Dean on October 16, 2009. Please keep this notice with your records about LSOE policies, programs and procedures.

It is moved to approve the proposed policy on Peer Observation of Teaching.

Motion on Proposed Peer Observation of Teaching
Submitted by Drs. Karen Arnold, Eric Dearing, Laura O’Dwyer, and Pat McQuillan

The Lynch School of Education recognizes the importance of teaching and supports a collegial culture of faculty interaction and collaboration around teaching. To this end, LSOE will institute the following:

As part of the current support provided through the Associate Dean’s office for junior faculty, a system of mandatory faculty observations will be put into place for pre-tenure faculty. Observation(s) in the first year will be formative. In subsequent years, observations will inform the Third Year Review and Tenure and Promotion decisions.

First year observation by Mentor (informal, constructive feedback only)

Second year observation by Department Chair (informal, constructive feedback only)

Third year (or at least once before interim review) observation by Associate Dean (evaluative memo with candidate’s choice of observation rubric to file for purposes of contract renewal vote)

Between interim review and year up for tenure observations by Mentor and current or past Department Chair (evaluative memo with candidate’s choice of observation rubric to file for purposes of contract renewal vote)

Tenured Associate Professors who seek promotion to Full Professor will be observed twice before going up for promotion, once in the Spring prior to the year up for promotion and once in the Fall semester of the formal P&T process. (In exceptional circumstances, e.g., if someone has a sabbatical that would conflict with such an observation schedule, the candidate can work with the Associate Dean to implement an alternative calendar.) One of the observers will be the Associate Dean and the second an LSOE full professor chosen by the observed faculty member. Ideally, the two visits should be representative of the professor’s range of teaching levels and formats. In each case, the observed faculty member will choose an observation rubric, which will be filed along with an evaluative memo by the observer for purposes of P&T committee consideration.

Non-tenured faculty will be provided the opportunity to visit the classrooms of senior faculty peers who volunteer to be observed.

The LSOE will promote voluntary opportunities for tenured faculty to be observed by peers for the purposes of formative evaluation and improvement of teaching.

Peer observation of teaching by tenured faculty will be promoted by taking account of their efforts as part of faculty service to the LSOE.

The Dean’s Office will sponsor annually, at least one faculty forum or similar community conversation on teaching.

In line with best practices, the observing and observed faculty members will communicate about the observed class(es) at least one time before and after the peer observation.

Established teaching observation rubrics will be made available that the faculty member can choose among and modify to guide the teaching observation.

This policy will be reviewed after a pilot period of 3 years, with the probability of expansion to adjunct faculty and teaching fellows.