Multi-faculty team launches Peer Collaboration Network for Teaching Improvement

In Fall 2010, a team of award-winning instructors on campus began to look at ways that they could make a serious contribution to enhancing the overall quality of teaching on campus.

It wasn’t so much a question of teaching other people to do what they do: in fact, they wanted to keep improving as well, and to develop a faculty-driven network of people interested in exploring new ways to foster excellent learning.

The team, which includes Dave Andrews, Tamsin Bolton, Ken Cramer, Jill Jackson and Siyaram Pandey, is launching the first stage of the resulting project, called the Peer Collaboration Network for Teaching Improvement, with support from the Strategic Priority Fund. The team hopes to involve about 100 faculty members within three years.

Participating instructors will visit one another’s classes, review each other’s teaching materials, help each other to reflect on and improve their teaching. This kind of peer review, or peer consultation, as it is sometimes called, is an internationally recognized and well-established strategy for enhancing the quality of teaching in higher education and fostering collegial dialogue about pedagogy and curriculum.

It is also a great way to get to know other faculty members with a passion for teaching and to explore new and different ways to approach the many challenges of university teaching.

To launch the network, the team, in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching and Learning, has invited bestselling author and academic developer Nancy Chism to the UWindsor campus for a two-day visit including a CTL co-hosted workshop, a meeting with deans and department heads, and working meetings with the network team.

Dr. Chism, who also sits on the University of Windsor Vice-Provost’s International Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning, served as the director of the teaching and learning centre at Ohio State University for 14 years before joining Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and associate dean of the faculties from 1999 to 2006. She is now a professor emeritus of higher education and student affairs at IUPUI and the author of the bestselling book Peer Review of Teaching: A Sourcebook.

Chism’s public presentation, entitled Peer Review of Teaching: Maximizing Gains, Minimizing Risks, will take place Thursday, February 9, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Oak Room, Vanier Hall. During the interactive session, she will explore the main elements of peer review and its potential roles in teaching improvement practice, and lead participants in generating ideas for developing an effective peer consultation network focused on teaching at UWindsor.

Faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. Please register at .