Peer Review of Teaching

Peer reviews of teaching practices are an important feedback collection process as we strive to deliver consistent, high quality learning experiences for students that keep up with evolving student learning needs. It can also be helpful as one source of evidence, among others, to demonstrate high quality teaching in collegial renewal, tenure, and promotion processes.

The Policy on Peer Review of Teaching Practices ("the Policy") was approved in June 2022 to ensure peer reviews are done consistently across USask in a manner that supports faculty both in their growth as educators, and in supporting faculty in reaching the next stage of their careers.

This page contains information and resources to support faculty in their respective roles in the peer review of teaching process.

USask Peer Review is


Our process supports educator growth over time, so setting goals for enhancement and noting improvements over time are both integral to our processes.


The reviewer/reviewee relationship is collegial, with dialogue from beginning to end. We also acknowledge that no reviewer can be entirely unbiased, so we document factors that may be important for understanding the reviewer’s frame of reference.


Teaching involves many activities beyond lectures, from writing a syllabus to giving students feedback on assessments. Our process goes beyond classroom observation to consider most aspects of teaching.

Roles and Resources

Peer review processes are intended to be meaningful for both fuelling teaching enhancement efforts and demonstrating teaching effectiveness. To meet this dual intent, it is important the reviewer and reviewee each meaningfully engage with the process. To support educators in this, resources and suggestions are noted below.

  1. Ensure meetings are scheduled. This will vary according to how your course is delivered.

    Synchronous (in person or online) Entirely Asynchronous (online)
    • At least one meeting before the teaching observation
    • Buffer time to allow them to review teaching materials
    • An observation
    • A debriefing meeting after the observation
    • At least one meeting before they complete the review
    • A debriefing meeting after they've been able to review your teaching materials
  2. Begin completing the template. Template approval is done at the unit-level, so ensure you are using a template in line with the guidelines developed by your local academic unit.
    • Feedback is most helpful when it is invited and focused on areas you want to improve, and it is less helpful when it focuses on areas where you are already strong. Be sure to outline specific areas on which you would welcome feedback to help you improve and meet your teaching goals. Templates may prompt for this. Be sure to discuss these specific areas with your peer.
    • Provide access to all relevant teaching materials to support the fulsome review. The review is focused on your overall teaching practice; therefore, the reviewer should have access to a variety of teaching materials (e.g., syllabus, communications to students , assignments, feedback given to students, and a teaching observation) to triangulate their observations.
  3. Teach as you normally would while your peer conducts the review.
  4. Meet with your peer to debrief.
    • Tips for receiving feedback constructively
      1. Ask for what you need: What do you want to learn about yourself?
      2. Practice active listening: Listen to understand, rather than respond.
      3. Check in: Check in with your peer to see if you understood their feedback.
      4. Say thank you, don’t justify: Whether or not you agree with the feedback, or choose to accept it, is up to you. The feedback you receive is the other person’s perception.
  5. After the debriefing meeting, set plans for future enhancement.
    • How does the feedback align with student feedback and your personal reflections?
    • Given all your feedback, what aspects of your teaching practice are you going to focus on improving over the next year? What supports will you need?
  1. Scheduling. Per the norms and guidelines set by your academic unit, ensure meetings are booked with the colleauge who you will be reviewing. Expect at least two meetings, plus a teaching observation if the course is taught in-person or synchronously online.
  2. Review your peer's teaching using templates approved by your college/department. The review should be inclusive of all elements of teaching and materials, with both noted strengths and prompts for the reviewee to reflect on their practice for teaching enhancement.
    • Triangulating data on your peer's teaching practice
      • The teaching observation is one element of the peer review process
      • To be able to provide feedback on your peer's teaching practice you will want to also review teaching materials, such as the syllabus, the Canvas course, online discussions, assignments, communications to students, and feedback given to students.
    • Tips for providing constructive feedback
      • Consider your peer's needs and goals. In their pre-review work, they may have indicated specific elements of their teaching practice they are working on, so give those extra focus.
      • Note the table below for elements of helpful peer feedback

        (rather than general)
        Specific feedback helps the reviewee reflect on instructional choices and/or behaviour. General feedback may confuse or lack impact.
        (rather than evaluative)
        The reviewer describes behaviour and impact while avoiding using judgmental terms such as good or bad.
        (rather than inferential)
        The feedback addresses what the person did, rather than suggesting possible reasons for those actions.
        Manageable The reviewee is given enough information, without feeling overloaded.
        Practical The feedback is directed toward behaviours the reviewee can change.
        (rather than imposed)
        Feedback can be particularly effective when the learners are answering a question that the reviewee had.
        Timely Feedback is often most helpful if it is delivered when the observation and review of teaching materials are fresh in the minds of all those involved.
        (for understanding)
        The reviewer and/or reviewee should check to see if the feedback was understood.
  3. Reflect on equity factors that may influence the review and note them in the template. This is a new requirement in the Policy. Resources to inform this section are included in a separate section below.

Considering Equity

Each review is required to make explicit mention of the equity factors that may influence reviews. This is in acknowledgement of the fact that each person’s perspective is informed by their own identities and experiences, which will influence the review. The intent is that readers of the review will be able to contextualize its contents with these equity factors in mind to improve fairness.

Two sample equity statements are provided in the document below, along with descriptions. We have also created a video below that gives some background and explains some of what you might consider in this section of the review.

College and Department Responsibilities

Colleges and departments have specific responsibilities to ensure that peer review processes meet the needs of their discipline and local context.

  • Create college/department-specific peer review guidelines. The Policy is explicit about what these guidelines should include. A sample and other resources are available to assist academic units in the development of their local guidelines.
  • Approve templates for peer review that align with the Policy. Institutional templates are available for units to use and/or adapt, or units can create their own. In any case, the Policy mentions elements that must be included in the approved template(s).
  • Manage the administration of peer review processes within the college/department.

Below you will find buttons leading to the various peer review templates for different class types, as mentioned in the list above.

Get Support

Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TLE)

For support with template or guideline development, using peer reviews for teaching enhancement, or integrating peer review with other evidence of teaching effectiveness, contact David Greaves, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Specialist.

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL)

GMCTL can support instructors with assessing teaching materials (including observations), or writing feedback.


Workshops to support faculty in conducting effective peer reviews, co-facilitated by GMCTL and TLE, are available to departments and colleges upon request. Click the button below to view descriptions of our available workshops.