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Confidence building through peer observation of teaching and peer coaching in university departments: A good investment for some and not others

Peter R. Whipp (School of Education, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)
Richard Pengelley (School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The “Colleague Review of Teaching” programme (CRT) aimed to enhance reviewees’ confidence to teach. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies using mixed-method, interview and questionnaire, repeated measures intervention were employed whereby academics in an Australian university science faculty volunteered to participate in a multi-faceted teaching review programme. Underpinned by confidence and self-determination theory, the CRT included peer coach training, reviewee choice, and a strengths-based approach to peer reviewing and coaching colleagues.

Findings

The reviewees declared an enhanced confidence to teach, teaching skills and unit design knowledge in an environment that was supportive of psychological needs. The peer coaches reported the CRT to be a positive experience that should continue. The strengths-based approach to peer observation of teaching and peer coaching facilitated department collegiality and was positively received by all participants who completed the programme.

Research limitations/implications

The indifferent response to the CRT protocol completion reconfirms that peer review is a complex science and needs careful negotiation.

Practical implications

Review, peer coach and mentor training, review practice, choice protocols and the multi-faceted approach (pre-observation meeting, observations, written report and post-observation meeting) were positively received.

Originality/value

This paper provides rich insight into the experiences of a teaching review process.

Keywords

Citation

Whipp, P.R. and Pengelley, R. (2017), "Confidence building through peer observation of teaching and peer coaching in university departments: A good investment for some and not others", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 99-115. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-07-2016-0059

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited