Dr Kelly FARRELL is a Lecturer in Higher Education at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. She has a particular interest in peer review of teaching and was a lead author for a national project in 2007-8 which led to the publication of Peer Review of Teaching in Australian Higher Education: A handbook to support institutions in developing effective policies and practices. She is coordinator of the Melbourne Teaching Certificate and the Teaching in Practice unit of the University's Graduate Certificate in University Teaching - both of which are based on a model of reciprocal peer review.
A national project undertaken by the University of Melbourne and the University of Wollongong in 2007-8 developed a framework that outlined a set of principles and conditions for effective peer review in Australian universities. These include it being conducted in an atmosphere of collegial trust and respect, the provision of supporting resources and the development of teaching as the primary purpose for peer review. With reference to this framework, the first part of this presentation will discuss the issues inherent in implementing peer review of teaching in a large, research-intensive institution but will then outline the features of a non-compulsory professional development program at the University of Melbourne that is providing teaching staff - both those doing the program and their colleagues in departments - with the opportunity to experience peer review. The rationale behind the design of the model of peer review - which is reciprocal, ‘flat’ in structure and uses interdisciplinary peer pairings - will be explained and the thinking behind the design of the supporting resources shared.