Peer observation of teaching has become an important element in the assessment of faculty members’ instructional skills and competence. Assessing teaching accurately involves the use of reliable and validated instruments, standardized observation procedures, and peer observer training. Without training, observers may provide biased feedback that lacks either sufficient detail or specific suggestions needed for teaching improvement. This resource contains an instrument for peer assessment of medical lecturing along with an accompanying rater training guide. The assessment instrument consists of 11 criteria for effective lecturing and an overall lecture quality measure. Together, the guide and instrument may be used for peer rater training as they provide faculty with detailed behavioral descriptors and guidance on conducting peer assessment of medical lecturing or large-group discussions. After the training, we asked participants to rate a posttest lecture using the instrument and the guide. To determine the effectiveness of the training, these posttest ratings were compared to ratings previously determined by a panel of expert medical educators who had watched the same videotaped lectures. Preliminary results comparing the experts’ and participants’ ratings indicated closer agreement on the posttest lecture. Moreover, the participants found the rater training facilitator’s guide to be valuable in detailing exact behaviors associated with each criterion’s performance levels, and they asked to keep the guide for future reference.
By using this resource, faculty should be able to:
- Encourage peer observation of teaching among faculty members resulting in specific, behavioral feedback and valuable discussions on best teaching practices.
- Provide faculty observers with detailed guidance on how to conduct peer observation using a standardized, reliable approach.
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