Impact and Attitudes about Peer Review of Teaching in a Canadian Pharmacy School
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Objective. To evaluate attitudes toward peer review of teaching and its impact on teaching practices and perceptions. Methods. The University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy implemented a peer-review process for its teaching program in 2015. Those reviewed were invited to complete an electronic survey that captured their attitudes toward teaching, attitudes toward peer review, and changes in teaching practices, and to participate in semi-structured follow-up interviews for more in-depth discussion of these issues. Results. Twenty-six (76%) instructors completed the survey. Instructors agreed that peer reviews of teaching are a development opportunity (96%), and 73% were comfortable with the idea of peer review. Over half (58%) indicated that the review made them feel more confident that their teaching strategies were effective, and the same percentage indicated that they planned to make changes to their teaching as a result of the feedback received from the peer review. Only a few instructors indicated that peer review changed their attitudes toward teaching (12%) or increased the value they placed on teaching (34%). Eight instructors (23.5%) participated in the semi-structured interviews. Themes that emerged included: attempts to make the reviewee comfortable during the peer review were successful; the feedback provided to instructors regarding their teaching was positive but not critical enough; there was lack of clarity as to the purpose of the feedback; and instructors planned to make only minor changes to their teaching as a result of the review. Conclusion. Peer review of teaching was well received and feedback was confirmatory in nature but had minimal impact on teaching practices as it was not deemed to be critical enough. Changes to the peer review program are needed to increase its impact on teaching practices.
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