The Trans-Faculty Peer Review Program for Teaching and Learning

TitleThe Trans-Faculty Peer Review Program for Teaching and Learning
Duration3 Years
Funding Details
Year 1: Project TitleDevelopment of a Peer Review Model for Educators
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2005/2006
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorKaren Gardner
Year 1: Funded Amount5,413
Year 1: Team Members

Karen Gardner, Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry

Year 1: Summary

Objective: To develop a Peer Review Model to be used as an effective mechanism to assist faculty in their growth as teachers.

Rationale: The Faculty of Dentistry is a very progressive dynamic body with outstanding research being conducted in the oral sciences. The education in our Faculty has been quite progressive in the development of Problem Based Learning and has gone to great lengths to take PBL into its mainstream as active learning in the Faculty. However, the Faculty has fallen behind others, such as Nursing and Rehab Medicine, in that there has been very little work in the development of peer reviews in the area of teaching. The design of this project would be to develop a Peer Review Model (PRM) for educators that would be employed as part of the educator's annual performance review. Currently the only formal evaluation of educators is that conducted through the format of student evaluations and while this is valuable information, it is not the whole story.

A PRM would be available to the department heads and the dean for them to use as part of their annual evaluations. In addition, the PRM would be used by the educators as a means by which they could keep abreast of the current trends in education such as:

  1. active learning in the lecture format;
  2. scholarly teaching - based on the theory of Shulman and Boyer;
  3. scholarship in teaching - to encourage more research in the educational field.
Year 2: Project TitlePeer Review Model for Dentistry
Year 2: Project YearYear 2
Year 2: Funding Year2006/2007
Year 2: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 2: Principal InvestigatorKaren Gardner
Year 2: Funded Amount13,450
Year 2: Team Members

Karen Gardner, Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry

Year 2: Summary

Research Question: Will the Peer Review Model developed for the faculty of Dentistry improve the quality of teaching?

Why: Currently a Peer Review Model (PRM) is being developed to assist in improving the quality of education in the faculty of Dentistry. The PRM was developed because at present, educators are only judged through the process of student evaluations and although this is important, it does not tell the whole story. The PRM will help educators improve their teaching because it is being designed to incorporate reflection and dissemination into the review process, both of which are essential tenets for improvement in teaching. While these tenets are not n new, to date they have not been encouraged in the faculty and there are now many educators waiting to progress into this area.

Year 3: Project YearYear 3
Year 3: Funding Year2007/2008
Year 3: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 3: Principal InvestigatorKaren Gardner
Year 3: Funded Amount31,557
Year 3: Team Members

Karen Gardner, Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry
Darlene Redenbach, Faculty of Medicine
Susan Nesbit, Faculty of Applied Science

Year 3: Summary

The objective of this TLEF proposal is to expand the peer review system initiated in Dentistry to other Faculties. In making this transition, it is important to respect the diversity within these Faculties, such as number of faculty members (Dentistry has two departments, APSC has several departments and two schools, Rehabilitation Sciences one school), instructional format (clinical, PBL, TBL, etc.), organization, and culture.

We propose to formulate a campus-wide PRM based on the model, which has been developed over the past two years in the Faculty of Dentistry. Beginning with the Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Applied Science and the School of Rehabilitation Sciences Peer Review Model (PRM) of teaching is developed, based on:

  1. the TAG UBC Faculty Certificate Program, the literature review conducted during the first year of the project, and TREK 2010 tenets:
    • help students to develop good analytic and communication skills;
    • develop strategies to advance interdisciplinary and interprofessionalism in learning and research;
    • institute regular Faculty-based reviews of learning methodologies and learning outcomes in all disciplines.
  2. the philosophy of Boyer and Shulman from the Carnegie Foundation;
  3. the methods currently employed in the national programs of Great Britain and Australia.

For example, the study by Hamersley-Fletcher and Orsmond "Evaluating our peers: is peer observation a meaningful process?" (2004).

During the PRM development, there will be increasing numbers of teaching units, we intend to have individual faculties and departments conduct research to study the effectiveness of PRM in areas such as teaching effectiveness and excellence, faculty satisfaction, student perspectives on the process, and student outcomes relevant to their academic unit. in this manner, we will be able to modify the program to satisfy campus sustainability and also to develop areas for faculty development (such as the TAG peer review training session's set-up during the second year of the project). As the PRM is extended campus-wide, additional development will be required to address unique teaching modalities such as PBL, TBL and clinical teaching. We will be able to develop another area of the project incorporating on-line learning through observation of video clips on the web-site. The campus wide program now operating at the University of Western Ontario will be investigated in this project.

Funding for the main project would be sought through TLEF with additional funding to study teaching excellence and student outcomes through outside sources such as the S. Wah Leung Foundation for teaching and learning in the Faculty of Dentistry because this program supports many of the tenets in the Trek 2010: A Global Journey such as:

  • help students to develop good analytical and communication skills;
  • develop strategies to advance interdisciplinary and interprofessionalism in learning and research and;
  • institute regular faculty-based reviews of learning methodologies and learning outcomes in all disciplines.

The PRM is of great importance to educators campus-wide as we are now at the point where we can institute a scholarly approach to teaching and the scholarship of teaching (as described in our intention to commence studies on various outcomes of the project). Can a Peer Review Model be developed as an effective mechanism to assist our faculty in their growth as teachers? We believe so because other universities have been successful in this regard. It is time for UBC to develop this area and give our educators another tool with which to enhance their teaching skills.