PEP: Peer-Evaluated Pedagogy

CELT administers a Peer-Evaluated Pedagogy Program, a.k.a. PEP Squad.  The program pairs each interested faculty member with another faculty member at King’s.  The pair does three things: each visits their colleague’s classroom or reviews their assignments (at least once); each hosts a colleague’s classroom visit or offers assignments for review (at least once); and the two of them get together to discuss their respective teaching methods and styles (i.e., they have a PEP Talk), all with an eye toward helping each other become ever-better teachers.

Recent participants in the Program have raved about how helpful the program has been.  Here are some of their remarks:

The experience of visiting my colleague’s class was extremely valuable.  Taking on the role of a student, I was able to see how certain teaching methods that I had not yet used could be very effective for improving learning.  Likewise, after my colleague visited my class, he shared feedback that my students would not typically think of, or be capable of, providing.  In some ways the peer review process is about erasing ignorance—ignorance of certain pedagogical approaches and even of simple classroom techniques.  It’s also about sharing insights and not being afraid to point out what doesn’t work well.   I was extremely grateful for the tips!

I will certainly be adopting in my own teaching some of the things that I witnessed my colleague doing successfully in her class.  Primarily, I was amazed at the way she was able to keep the students “active learners” during a “lecture” and how often they answered the questions she asked to the entire class.  A “discussion based” science class is a difficult nut to crack, but it is a goal well worth the effort in terms of “outcomes based assessment,” the “comprehensive assessment program,” and the mission of King’s College.  I feel this program put me in a better place to achieving that, if only by witnessing the successes of my colleagues.  Indeed, I’ve even begun to consider trying on-line Moodle assignments (something I never thought I would do) as a way to keep my students up-to-date and participants in their own education.  Again, these strike me as exactly the types of things CELT was created to foster in faculty at King’s College.

Why should you participate in this program?

First, the extra commitment is small, but the potential benefit is great. Spend an hour or so observing your peer and another hour talking with your peer about teaching methods. You get in return a fresh perspective – likely from a different academic discipline and definitely without the pressure of an official classroom visit from your chair or dean – on your teaching.

Second, CELT is here to provide you with any observation rubrics you need, if you want to focus on specific aspects of your classroom presence or assignments.

Third, CELT will provide you with a $15 gift card you can use at campus dining locations to have your PEP Talk.