Peer Review

Peer Review

Guidance for peer review of teaching during COVID-19 pandemic

In light of current circumstances and the suspension of many face-to-face classes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, much of our teaching is online. Refer to the infographic below which provides guidance for online peer review of teaching during this time or to the full guidance document


Online Peer Review System

As part of NUS’ efforts to improve the existing Peer Review practice, a revised Online Peer Review System has been implemented with effect from 1 August 2013. The key changes seek to enhance the quality of peer evaluation and to integrate various aspects of the process of review using an online platform to facilitate the whole review process. Peer Review is required of all Departments/Programmes at NUS. While the primary function of Peer Review is to provide useful information to the administration for teacher appraisals for re-appointment, promotion, tenure, and teaching awards, it also serves as a monitoring process on teaching quality as it provides useful feedback for the staff to improve his/her teaching. The peer review covers the entire spectrum of a teacher’s contribution to student learning including classroom teaching, curriculum design, teaching materials and assessment tasks.

The main features of the system includes:

  • The Online Peer Review form has two parts: (i) review of classroom teaching (Section A) and (ii) review of module folder that cover teaching/assessment materials (Section B). The classroom observation (Section A) and the module folder (Section B) will be for the same module.
  • The Peer Review team may consist of up to 4 reviewers, at least 2, one of whom shall belong to another Department. Reviewers should be assigned by the Head of Department on a rotating basis across years.
    • As far as possible, the responsibility of reviewing peers should be distributed among faculty members who have at least three years of teaching experience and are effective in teaching. Seminars, dialogue sessions, and workshops on peer reviewing will be conducted at CDTL from time to time to share experiences and good practices. Similar sessions can also be arranged at departments/faculties/schools.
  • Collectively, the review team is expected to have sufficient familiarity with the procedural and pedagogical aspects of peer review, and content knowledge.
  • A module folder should contain (i) module outlines that spell out the aims and objectives, syllabus, readings, etc., (ii) teaching/learning materials, (iii) continual and final assessment, and (iv) the reviewee’s account of the module’s accomplishments which may also include student work. The module folder submitted should not contain materials older than 3 years.
    • Details of the classes to be observed and the module folders to be reviewed should be entered into the Online Peer Review System by the Department Peer Review in-charge. The Peer Review of a module should contain the review of at least one sample of classroom teaching and at least one module folder. It is recommended that all reviewers should observe the same class(es) barring exceptional circumstances. The Peer Review report should be based on all the classroom observations made and the module folders examined.
    • The reviewers are strongly encouraged to meet the reviewee prior to the observation of the classroom teaching as well as after the completion of the review. At the pre-observation meeting, the reviewers should attempt to gain an overview of the reviewee’s teaching in general as well as the module/lesson to be observed. The post-review meeting will provide reviewers with an opportunity to seek clarifications and/or give feedback to the reviewee on his/her teaching.
  • The reviewers are to each complete and submit a Peer Review report independently of each other. This is to ensure that each reviewer will give his/her own independent assessment of the reviewee’s teaching.
  • After formal endorsement of the Peer Review reports by the Head and the Dean, a collated, anonymised Peer Review Report will be made available to the reviewee through the Online Peer Review System.
  • If the reviewee feels that the Peer Review report is unfair or prejudiced, (s)he will have one opportunity to respond to the Peer Review report within a two-week timeframe.