Peer Supported Development Scheme

Find out more about how to get involved with our cross-departmental peer observation scheme.

The PSD scheme is an institutional approach to peer observation that works within faculties but across departments. It benefits from re-balancing review and reviewer learning, by opening opportunities to explore the wider aspects of teaching and by not being linked to performance management.

About Peer Supported Development (PSD)

PSD is a research-informed scheme that has been piloted in three faculties. In its first full year (2019-2020) it will focus on teaching activities. In line with the broader ethos of the scheme, colleagues are encouraged to think beyond the conventional lecture as a venue for a peer supported development opportunity. From 2020-21 the scope will extend to other practices that support teaching, learning and assessment such as VLE development, assessment/ resource design and marking. 

Colleagues will be paired with a peer from a different department but within the same faculty. The pairings will be made by a lead within each faculty. Colleagues will then arrange with their peer a time to see each other's teaching and subsequently discuss it. In each year a colleague will therefore be both reviewer and reviewee. The forms (available below) are designed to scaffold thinking and post-review dialogue. There is also an anonymous section at the end to send to the PSD lead who will synthesise outcomes and use the information to inform future development opportunities.

The Peer Supported Development (PSD) lead in each faculty will co-ordinate the scheme and all staff that teach can join. As with previous schemes, all permanent staff with teaching responsibilities will be involved. HPLs can opt-in by contacting the PSD lead in their faculty directly.  PGCert HE and ALTHE participants are exempt in the year of study.

PSD Leads

  • FEH: Gemma Mansi
  • FES: Lauren Pecorino
  • FLAS: Christopher Ware
  • FoB: Sara Gorgoni

Core Principles

  • Whether reviewing or being reviewed this is an equal partnership. It is collaborative and should be seen as an opportunity for enhancement
  • Learning by seeing and discussing a colleague's work is as important as having an independent 'other' set of eyes witnessing our work. 
  • PSD is non-hierarchical, not aligned to appraisal and forms are not shared upwards. The process is anonymous.
  • Pairings are made across departments so that teaching, learning, assessment and ancillary practices are focal rather than content.

Benefits

  • Elevates status and importance of teaching 
  • Builds teaching confidence and self-efficacy
  • Offers a chance to experiment and innovate
  • Can connect educational theory to practice
  • Supports a sharing, collegiate culture
  • Provides opportunities to challenge conventional wisdom
  • Watching a colleague is a great opportunity to think about our own practice

Forms

The forms are:

Additional forms have been provided for those that wish to hand write rather than type.

Full PSD Guide

Exemplar forms (reviewee/ reviewer) to be uploaded soon