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Working with supportive colleagues to peer review our teaching can help us gain insights into our own teaching practice.
Peer lesson review is good for:
– Revisiting the place and purpose of classes in the wider syllabus
– Reviewing session design through new eyes
– Exploring alternative sequencing, student-facing tasks, and/or language choices

PREPARATION: Find willing colleagues; select lessons for review on the basis of feedback, curriculum review or self-reflection.
TIMING: Plan what you want from the review; 30 minutes is probably a minimum.
PEOPLE: One colleague (more could be unhelpful if not carefully focused).
EQUIPMENT: Session materials; session plan. Consider videoing the class.
Critically evaluating the design, quality and effectiveness of individual classes is an ongoing process. Evaluation will evolve over time, with changing student cohorts and wider developments in a module or programme. Peer review among colleagues can be one useful way of more easily recognising and acting on the need for review and development.
Select one or more lessons for peer review. Decide which aspects it is you wish to explore. Is it the content or concepts themselves? Is it how these are sequenced –the storyline of the class? It is more a question of student engagement or interactivity during the session? Or maybe you don’t know where the problem is –in which case a supportive colleague can help identify this with you.
3. FIT 
One way to begin peer lesson review is to interrogate the place and purpose of the session. Using your colleague as a sounding board, ask: where does this class fit in the wider module? Why is it here, in this point in the course? Why not elsewhere? What are your teaching aims? What are the intended learning outcomes? How (far) does this session move student understanding forwards?
Re-visit the selection, sequencing and pacing of material and activities. Ask your colleague to tell you how far they think this class structure best realises your stated purposes and goals. What are alternative ‘storylines’ for the session? What might be the effects on student learning of a different sequence? How might learner engagement be enhanced by altering timings?
Your slides and handouts are not the class. Lift the lesson off the page at point of need for the students in the room. Have colleagues help you consider the live unfolding of the session. Is it accessible to the full diversity of your group? Where might there be questions? Do you need to turn ‘talk’ into a task? Is some re-design needed?
When you meet to discuss the review, ask your colleagues to describe the positives and negatives in the lesson design. They can offer suggestions for alterations or improvements; often a fresheye can offer a new perspective to a design.
Suggestions above can be used separately or together. Many other approaches are possible. Grab a colleague at the photocopier for a steer on an idea for in-class assessment, or a student task. Find someone in a very different discipline, to enable peer review that avoids ‘group think’ and pushes you into new ways of thinking.
Download a full colour version of the recipe cards.Recipe Card (PDF)

Links to Online Resources

  1. Peer Review of Lesson Material, Loyala Mount University,, Last Accessed January 2022

Links to Papers/Books

  1. Thomas, Susan, et al. “A qualitative review of literature on peer review of teaching in higher education: An application of the SWOT framework.” Review of educational Research 84.1 (2014): 112-159,, Last Accessed January 22