Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 67–87

Formative Peer Review of Teaching: Attitudes of Faculty at Liberal Arts Colleges Toward Colleague Assessment

  • Larry Keig


Nearly all students of faculty evaluation agree that peer review should be part of a comprehensive program of faculty assessment. Faculty are particularly well qualified to critique their colleagues' teaching when the objective is to improve quality of instruction because they are in a position to assess several aspects of teaching better than students, academic administrators, and other constituencies of the academic community. Large proportions of faculty in this study indicated they would take part in four methods of formative peer review--classroom observation, videotaping of classes, evaluation of course materials, and assessment of their evaluation of the academic work of students--and they provide important information on factors that might detract from their participation, on conditions that might enhance the process, and on the benefits they and their students, colleagues, and institutions might receive as a result of their participation.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrami, P.C. (1985). Dimensions of effective college instruction. Review of Higher Education, 8, 211-228.Google Scholar
  2. Aleamoni, L.M. (1981, March). Standards for evaluation of instruction. Note to the Faculty (No. 11). Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, Office of Instructional Research and Development.Google Scholar
  3. Aleamoni, L.M. (1987). Some practical approaches for faculty and administrators. In L. M. Aleamoni (Ed.), New directions for teaching and learning: No. 31. Techniques for evaluating and improving teaching (pp. 75-78). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Aleamoni, L.M. (1999). Student rating myths versus research facts from 1924 to 1998. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 13(2), 153-166.Google Scholar
  5. Arreola, R.A. (1984). Evaluation of faculty performance: Key issues. In P. Seldin (Ed.), Changing practices in faculty evaluation: A critical assessment and recommendations for improvement (pp. 79-85). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  6. Arreola, R.A. (1995). Developing a comprehensive evaluation system: A handbook for college faculty and administrators on designing and operating a comprehensive faculty evaluation system. Bolton, MA: Anker.Google Scholar
  7. Austin, A.E. (1992a). Supporting junior faculty through a teaching fellows program. In M. D. Sorcinelli & A. E. Austin (Eds.), New directions for teaching and learning: No. 50. Developing new and junior faculty (pp. 73-86). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  8. Austin, A.E. (1992b). Supporting the professor as teacher: The Lilly Teaching Fellows Program. Review of Higher Education, 16, 85-106.Google Scholar
  9. Austin, J., Sweet, A., & Overholt, C. (1991). To see ourselves as others see us: The rewards of classroom observation. In C. R. Christiansen, D. A. Garvin, & A. Sweet (Eds.), Education for judgment: The artistry of discussion leadership (pp. 215-229). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  10. Baldwin, R.G. (1990). Faculty vitality beyond the research university. Journal of Higher Education, 61, 160-180.Google Scholar
  11. Bell, M.E., Dobson, E.C., & Gram, J.M. (1977). Peer evaluation as a method of faculty development. Journal of the College and University Personnel Administration, 28(4), 15-17.Google Scholar
  12. Blackwell, R., & McLean, M. (1996). Faculty observation of teaching and staff development. Higher Education Quarterly, 50(2), 156-171.Google Scholar
  13. Boyer, E.L. (1987). College: The undergraduate years, New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  14. Boyer, E.L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate, Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.Google Scholar
  15. Brinko, K.T. (1993). The practice of giving feedback to improve teaching: What is effective? Journal of Higher Education, 64, 574-593.Google Scholar
  16. Britt, N., Jr. (1982). Faculty attitudes about colleague evaluation of teaching. Dissertation Abstracts International, 42, 5034A (University Microfilms No. 82-09886).Google Scholar
  17. Brock, S.C. (1981). Evaluation-based teacher development. In J. Millman (Ed.), Handbook of teacher evaluation (pp. 229-243). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Bulcock, J.W. (1984, June). Why can't we define good teaching? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Guelph, Ontario (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 248 207).Google Scholar
  19. Cancelli, A. (1987, April). Methods for arriving at clinical judgments in peer evaluation. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 282 924).Google Scholar
  20. Centra, J.A. (1979). Determining faculty effectiveness: Assessing teaching, research, and service for personnel decisions and improvement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  21. Centra, J.A. (1986, April). Colleague evaluation: The critical link. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 275 722).Google Scholar
  22. Centra, J.A. (1993). Reflective faculty evaluation: Enhancing teaching and determining faculty effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  23. Chronicle of Higher Education (1997, August 29). Almanac Issue ( p. 26).Google Scholar
  24. Cohen, P.A., & McKeachie, W.J. (1980). The role of colleagues in the evaluation of college teaching. Improving College and University Teaching, 28(4), 147-154.Google Scholar
  25. Copeland, W.D., & Jamgochian, R. (1985). Colleague training and peer review. Journal of Teacher Education, 36(2), 18-21.Google Scholar
  26. Cowen, D.L., Davis, G.L., & Bird, S.E. (1976, February). Peer review in medical education. Journal of Medical Education, 51, 130-131.Google Scholar
  27. Cross, K.P. (1986a). A proposal to improve teaching-or-what taking teaching seriously should mean. AAHE Bulletin, 39(1), 9-14.Google Scholar
  28. Cross, K.P. (1986b). Using assessment to improve instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 284 296).Google Scholar
  29. Dressel, P.L. (1976). Faculty. In P. L. Dressel (Ed.), Handbook of academic evaluation (pp. 331-375). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  30. Ellett, C.D., McMullen, J.H., Rugutt, J.K., & Culross, R.R. (1997, March). Linking personal learning environment, quality of teaching and learning, and learning efficacy: An initial study of college students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 410 770).Google Scholar
  31. Eble, K.E. (1988). The craft of teaching: A guide to mastering the professor's art. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. Edgerton, R. (1988). All roads lead to teaching. AAHE Bulletin, 40(8), 3-9.Google Scholar
  33. Edgerton, R., Hutchings, P., & Quinlan, K. (1991). The teaching portfolio: Capturing the scholarship of teaching. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education.Google Scholar
  34. Elbow, P. (1980). One-to-one faculty development. In J. F. Noonan (Ed.), New directions for teaching and learning: No. 4. Learning about teaching (pp. 25-40). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  35. Elbow, P. (1986). Embracing contraries: Explorations in learning and teaching. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Fact Book on Higher Education. (1998). 1997 Edition (p. 151). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx.Google Scholar
  37. Fairweather, J.S. (1993). Academic values and faculty rewards. Review of Higher Education, 17(1), 43-68.Google Scholar
  38. Glassick, C.E., Huber, M.T., & Maeroff, G.I. (1997). Scholarship assessed: Evaluation of the professoriate. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  39. Golin, S. (1990). Four arguments for peer collaboration & student interviewing: The Master Faculty Program. AAHE Bulletin, 43(4), 9-10.Google Scholar
  40. Hart, F.R. (1987). Teachers observing teachers. In J. H. Broderick (Ed.), Teaching at an urban university (pp. 15-24). Boston: University of Massachusetts at Boston (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 290 704).Google Scholar
  41. Hodgkinson, H. (1972). Unlock your doors, let your colleagues in: Faculty rewards and assessment systems. In J. Braun & T. A. Emmet (Eds.), The academic department and division chairman (pp. 208-215). Detroit: Balamp.Google Scholar
  42. Hoyt, D.P., & Howard, G.S. (1978). The evaluation of faculty development programs. Research in Higher Education, 8, 25-38.Google Scholar
  43. Hutchings, P. (1996). The peer review of teaching: Progress, issues and prospects. Innovative Higher Education, 20(4), 221-234.Google Scholar
  44. Katz, J., & Henry, M. (1988). Turning professors into teachers: A new approach to faculty development and student learning. New York: American Council on Education/Macmillan.Google Scholar
  45. Keig, L.W. (1988). Faculty evaluation: Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  46. Keig, L.W., & Waggoner, M.D. (1994). Collaborative peer review: The role of faculty in improving college teaching (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, No. 2). Washington, DC: Association for the Study of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  47. Keig, L.W., & Waggoner, M.D. (1995). Peer review of teaching: Improving college instruction through formative assessment. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 6(3), 51-83.Google Scholar
  48. Licata, C.M. (1986). Post-tenure faculty evaluation: Opportunity or threat (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, No. 1). Washington, DC: Association for the Study of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  49. Lindquist, J. (1979). Approaches to collegiate teaching improvement. In J. Lindquist (Ed.), Designing teaching improvement programs (pp. 1-22). Washington, DC: Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges.Google Scholar
  50. Mathias, H., & Rutherford, D. (1982a). Course evaluation at Birmingham: Some implications for the evaluation of university teaching. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 7(3), 263-266.Google Scholar
  51. Mathias, H., & Rutherford, D. (1982b). Lecturers as evaluators: The Birmingham experience. Studies in Higher Education, 7(1), 47-56.Google Scholar
  52. Mathis, B.C. (1979). Persuading the institution to experiment: Strategies for seduction (Occasional Paper No. 9). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, Center for the Teaching Professions.Google Scholar
  53. McKeachie, W.J. (1994). Teaching tips (9th ed.). Lexington, MA: Heath.Google Scholar
  54. McKeachie, W.J., & Kaplan, M. (1996). Persistent problems in evaluating college teaching. AAHE Bulletin, 48(6), 5-8.Google Scholar
  55. Menges, R.J. (1985). Career-span faculty development. College Teaching, 33(4), 181-184.Google Scholar
  56. Menges, R.J. (1987). Colleagues as catalysts for change in teaching. To Improve the Academy, 6, 83-93.Google Scholar
  57. Millis, B.J. (1989). Colleagues helping colleagues: A peer observation program model. Journal of Staff, Program, and Organization Development, 7(1), 15-21.Google Scholar
  58. Millis, B.J. (1992). Conducting effective peer classroom observations. To Improve the Academy, 11, 189-206.Google Scholar
  59. Millis, B.J. (1994a). Faculty development in the 1990s: What is it and why we can't wait. Journal of Counseling and Development, 72, 454-464.Google Scholar
  60. Millis, B.J. (1994b). Forging the ties that bind: Peer mentoring part-time faculty. In M. A. Wunsch (Ed.), New directions for teaching and learning: No. 57. Mentoring revisited: Making an impact on individuals and institution (pp. 73-80). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  61. Millis, B.J., & Kaplan, B.B. (1995). Enhancing teaching through peer classroom observations. In P. Seldin (Ed.), Improving college teaching (pp. 137-151). Bolton, MA: Anker.Google Scholar
  62. National Center for Educational Statistics. (1997). Digest of Educational Statistics (p. 244). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  63. New Jersey Institute for Collegiate Teaching and Learning. (1991). Partners in Learning. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University.Google Scholar
  64. ”Peer review of teaching institute.” (1993). AAHE Bulletin, 46(10), 16, 18.Google Scholar
  65. Perlberg, A. (1983). When professors confront themselves: Toward a theoretical conceptualization of video self-confrontation in higher education. Higher Education, 12, 633-663.Google Scholar
  66. Pew Higher Education Research Program. (1989). The business of the business. Policy Perspectives, 1, 1-7.Google Scholar
  67. Quinlan, K.M. (1995). Faculty perspectives on peer review. Thought and Action, 11(2), 5-22.Google Scholar
  68. Quinlan, K.M. (1996). Involving peers in the evaluation and improvement of teaching: A menu of strategies. Innovative Higher Education, 20(4), 299-307.Google Scholar
  69. Rice, R.E., & Cheldelin, S.I. (1989). The knower and the known: Making the connections: Evaluation of the New Jersey Master Faculty Program. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University, New Jersey Institute for Collegiate Teaching and Learning.Google Scholar
  70. Scriven, M.S. (1980). The evaluation of college teaching. Syracuse, NY: National Council of States on Inservice Education (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 203 729).Google Scholar
  71. Scriven, M.S. (1983). Evaluation ideologies. In G. R. Madaus, M. S. Scriven, & D. L. Stufflebeam (Eds.), Evaluation models: Viewpoints on educational and human services evaluation. (pp. 242-249). Boston: Kluwer-Nijhof.Google Scholar
  72. Scriven, M.S. (1985). New frontiers of evaluation. Evaluation Practices, 7(1), 7-44.Google Scholar
  73. Seldin, P. (1984). Changing practices in faculty evaluation, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  74. Seldin, P. (1990). How administrators can improve teaching: Moving from talk to action in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  75. Seldin, P. (1998, March). How colleges evaluate teaching, 1988 vs 1998. AAHE Bulletin, 50(7), 3-7.Google Scholar
  76. Shatzky, J., & Silberman, R. (1986). Master-students: A teaching technique. Journal of College Science Teaching, 16, 119-120.Google Scholar
  77. Skoog, G. (1980). Improving college teaching through peer observation. Journal of Teacher Education, 31(2), 23-25.Google Scholar
  78. Snedecor, F.W., & Cochran, W.G. (1967). Statistical methods (6th ed.). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Soderberg, L.O. (1986), March). A credible model: Evaluating classroom teaching in higher education. Instructional Evaluation, 8, 13-27.Google Scholar
  80. Stoner, M., & Martin, L. (1993, November). Talking about teaching across the disciplines: How cognitive peer coaching makes it happen. Paper presented at the 79th annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Miami, FL.Google Scholar
  81. Study Group on the Conditions of Excellence in American Higher Education. (1984). Involvement in learning: Realizing the potential of American higher education. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education/U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  82. Sweeney, J.M. (1976). A report on the development and use of a faculty peer evaluation/development program. Dissertation Abstracts International, 37, 5458A (University Microfilms No. 76-30, 408).Google Scholar
  83. Sweeney, J.M., & Grasha, A.F. (1979). Improving teaching through faculty development triads. Educational Technology, 19(2), 54-57.Google Scholar
  84. Weimer, M. (1987, April). Translating evaluation results into teaching improvements. AAHE Bulletin, 39(8), 8-11.Google Scholar
  85. Wilson, R.C., Dienst, E.R., & Watson, N.L. (1973). Characteristics of effective college teachers as perceived by their colleagues. Journal of Educational Measurement, 10, 31-37.Google Scholar
  86. Woolwine, D.E. (1988). New Jersey Master Faculty Program research report. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University, New Jersey Institute for Collegiate Teaching and Learning.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Keig
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Northern IowaUSA

Personalised recommendations