How to PEP
In this section:
- 1. Before you PEPBelow are some thinking prompts for self-reflection on teaching and learning. These will be helpful when choosing your focus in the next step.
- How would you describe your approach(es) to teaching?
- What are the key factors that shape/have shaped your approach(es) to teaching?
- How and to what extent do you reflect on the way you consider equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) in your teaching design, delivery and review?
- How do you know who learned and who did not in your teaching?
- Which aspects of our teaching do you feel relatively confident with and why?
- How do you ensure you build on the above strengths?
- Are there new things which you'd like to bring to your practice but haven't yet found the time/support/courage to do? Explore why you are interested in them and what might be holding you back.
- Are there any areas of your practice where you lack confidence or where you feel less effective than you'd like to be? Explore these things and the feelings they bring up.
- How effective is your planning? Do you face any barriers to planning?
- How do you understand your students' needs? How do you adapt your practice to meet these needs? Which approaches have been effective? Would you like to explore this more?
- If you team teach with colleagues, how effectively do you work together?
- How do you plan for your sessions?
- How do you determine the key aims/outcomes of your sessions? How do you know when they have been met?
- How do your sessions link to work students do outside of university teaching?
- Are there any aspects of your practice where you feel the input of an observer would be useful in order to reflect back what they have seen to aid your development? (You are encouraged to identify a particular area of focus for the observer - although you may also just ask for a more generalised observation if you choose). This question is one to explore in more depth with your observer at stage 2, but thinking about it now may be a good catalyst for your reflections.
(Taken from O'Leary, 2020, p. 234).
Guidance for the observee
The purpose of the observation is formative. Decide the focus of the observation and what you would like your observer to pay attention to during the observation - choose an aspect of your teaching which you are keen to explore in more depth. This could be something that you are keen to improve or know more about, something you have some concerns about or simply an opportunity to try something new. For instance, you may be interested in studying how you give instructions to students in their learning, how you manage and deal with feedback, your use of a particular resource/form of technology, your methods of assessing students etc. The important thing is that you choose something that is meaningful and relevant to your development and use the observation process to focus exclusively on that.Below are some questions to discuss with your PEP partner before they observe:
Pre-observation discussion questions
- What would you like to achieve from the observation?
- Which areas of your teaching practice do you feel most comfortable with?
- Which areas of your teaching practice would you most like to improve?
- Is there any particular aspect of the teaching session you would like me to focus on to help you explore further?
- How to you prepare for your teaching sessions?
- How do you differentiate for students' needs in the teaching sessions?
- What is the key aim for the teaching session I will observe? How will you know when you have achieved that aim?
- What is the most important part of the teaching session I will be observing?
- 2. The focus of your PEPTo get the most out of PEP, come to the exchange with a particular focus in mind and ask whoever is watching you to give you particular feedback on it. This way you can both be specific on an area you want to change or expand and can learn from each other.
- N.B. This video refers to 'Peer Practice Exchange', which is the old name for PEP - 'Peers exchanging Practice'
How do you observe?
The basis for observation in the Peers Exchanging Practice scheme is that observees choose a specific focus for the observation rather than the observer using the observation to carry out a 360 degree assessment of the observee's practice. Observation in this context simply means recording notes of what is actually observed. These notes should simply represent a factual record of what occurs during the observation, not a subjective interpretation of events. These notes will then be used to guide the follow-up discussion between the observer and your observee as a basis for reflection on practice.
Guidance for the observer
In keeping with the principles of a collaborative and supportive observation scheme, the most appropriate approach is one that avoids making judgemental comments about the observed session. The purpose of the observation is not to evaluate the performance of your colleague, it is to stimulate meaningful reflection associated with their chosen aspect(s) of practice. In your role as the observer, you are encouraged to record notes of what you actually observe. These notes should simply represent a factual record of what occurs during the observation, not a subjective interpretation of events. These notes will be used to guide the follow-up discussion between you and the observee as they reflect on the lesson and the particular aspect of practice that they have asked you to observe.
- 3. After you PEPBelow are some questions to discuss with your PEP partner after the observation:
Post observation discussion questions
- Did you feel you achieved your key aim?
- What did you feel was the most successful part of the teaching session?
- How does the teaching session relate to work the students have done or will do outside of the session? How are students made aware of that relationship?
- I noticed X (X = critical incident). What was your aim? Did you feel it was successful?
Clarification prompts to promote deeper reflection
- How does that work?
- Tell me more
- Can you elaborate on that?
- Can you develop that idea further?
- What other ideas/thoughts do you have about that?
- What resonates for you?
- Are there other options?
Pass it on!
Tried something new? Whether it's a new approach to assessment or an activity you've adapted for a new context, share your practice and pass it on.
We'll take all submissions and publish them as blog posts so the whole Solent community can benefit from these shared ideas.
- 4. FAQsHow can I set up an exchange?You can choose your own partner or your course and faculty colleagues may have suggestions. It would be helpful to choose someone who is interested in in the focus you give them to watch. Or you could choose someone who inspires you and ask them if you could sit in on one of their classes (or other teaching context) to learn something from them.How do I log my exchange?
We are not in the business of tracking who has or hasn't been part of an exchange. However, SLTI wants to support the development of learning and teaching at Solent so it would be great if you could let us know your experience of PEP so that we can share it with the learning community.
- N.B. All unreferenced bullet points are adapted from O'Leary, 2020, pp. 235-236 [Found under the "PEP resources" tab]