Penn State Altoona
Division of Business, Engineering, and Information Sciences and Technology
Procedure for Establishing a Peer Review Committee
Frequency and Committee Structure
- Each faculty member will undergo a formal peer evaluation of teaching effectiveness review (peer review) during any year she or he is undergoing a formal promotion or tenure review.
- Each Peer Review Committee shall:
- Consist of at least three members.
- Include a mix of tenured, tenure-track & fixed-term faculty members if possible.
- Include at least one member from a related discipline, if possible.
- Include one member outside of the BEIST division member, if possible.
- Faculty member under review should be permitted to propose suggested members for her/his review committee, for full reviews.
- Final committee shall be appointed by Division Head.
Process of Peer Evaluation
- The Division Head identifies the need for a Peer Evaluation. (See Frequency and Committee Structure above.)
- The Division Head contacts the faculty member. The faculty member proposes “suggested members for her/his review committee.” As appropriate, the Division Head confers with the faculty member about the composition of the committee.
- The Division Head appoints the committee. The Division Head notifies the candidate and the committee members of the final composition of the committee and asks the candidate to provide members with appropriate materials (e.g., syllabi, exams, handouts, etc.).
- The faculty member provides the committee with relevant materials.
- The committee meets develops a rough plan for completing the evaluation, and arranges to meet with the candidate. The committee will select its own chair. All meetings in this document may take place in person or via a remote meeting tool (e.g., Zoom, MS Teams, etc.),
- The committee meets with the candidate. The candidate has an opportunity to present her/his approach to teaching and to discuss goals, methods and special problems for each course. The committee presents a rough outline of the evaluation process to the candidate.
- Committee members review materials and, except for asynchronous courses, visit classes. Committee members confer with students as appropriate. Since faculty peers are conducting a peer evaluation and not a third or fourth form of student evaluation, inquiries of students should often be focused to gain an understanding of whether or not the materials and classes faculty peers observe are representative of the rest. Committee members may wish to make use of appropriate rubrics. See samples provided. There are many paths to effective teaching. Rubrics simply suggest elements that are common to many of those paths.
- Committee members combine individual observations, evaluations, and conclusions in the form of a letter, which is addressed to the Division Head. The Committee will meet at least once, typically near the beginning or end of the letter composing process. The letter should reference courses visited and the people visiting.
- The candidate first sees the completed letter when she/he sees the completed dossier. After viewing the letter, the faculty member may request a meeting with the Division Head. The purpose of this meeting is both evaluative and formative.
- The Chair of the Committee invites the candidate to meet with the Committee to discuss the letter and provide the candidate with guidance and suggestions. The purpose of this meeting is formative. The Chair of the Committee notifies the Division Head that the meeting has taken place or that the candidate has declined the invitation.
Adopted by Division faculty: 2/11/2021