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Peer Review of Instruction

The College of Veterinary Medicine and departments of Veterinary Biological Sciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine strongly endorse the use of peer review of instructional activities as a way of consistently improving the quality of teaching and learning at our institution.

Peer review at the college is informed by evidence-based research on faculty evaluation systems and best practices/instructional innovation promoted by the Council for Professional Education. 

Faculty development in peer review for observers and instructors is supported by the Office of Teaching & Learning.


CVM seeks to sustain a culture in which teaching excellence is valued, encouraged, and rewarded. Formative evaluation of teaching is of paramount importance for developing instructional effectiveness and should be done in conjunction with and in addition to summative reviews. Guiding principles for CVM Peer Review of Instruction include the following:

  • Peer review of teaching, including classroom observation, should be an integral part of faculty development efforts and teaching evaluation.
  • The evaluation process itself must be presented as an opportunity to promote enhanced teaching and student learning; while there is a role for formative and summative evaluation, formative evaluation should be emphasized.
  • Peer review is only one component of a comprehensive teaching evaluation system.
  • Peer review should provide a fair, effective, and uniform set of criteria for incorporation in promotion and tenure decisions.
  • Peer reviewers should recognize the value of different teaching styles, techniques and approaches.
  • Effective peer review incorporates elements from students, teaching teams, and the individual faculty members.
  • Effective peer review should be a collaborative effort involving the reviewer and the instructor.
  • Effective peer review is adapted to the type of teaching performed: didactic, team-based, laboratory, etc.
  • Effective peer review -- and certainly summative peer review -- should occur as a series of events that evaluates multiple artifacts of teaching, not a one-time classroom visitation.
  • Effective peer reviews contain specific, achievable recommendations for improvements in teaching in addition to summative evaluation.
  • Effective peer reviews outline strategies for accomplishing recommended changes and available resources that might facilitate recommended changes.
  • Summative reviews should be presented to the instructor being reviewed in writing, and instructors should be allowed to respond in writing to the reviews.