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Peer review of teaching: Best practices for a non-programmatic approach




Alabi, Jaena
Weare, William H., Jr.


Many academic librarians who provide library instruction have never received formal training in educational theory and methods. In an effort to bridge this gap and improve the teaching skills of instruction librarians, some academic libraries have established peer review of teaching programs. Despite the recognized benefits of peer review, it may not be feasible for every library to establish such a program. In an effort to aid those who are interested in peer review, but who may not be able to participate in a formal program, the authors identify the principles of peer review that can be applied on a non-programmatic basis. Six areas of best practice are described: establishing an environment of trust, respect, and confidentiality; selecting a suitable partner for the process; communicating with a peer reviewer; focusing on specific aspects of teaching where feedback is desired; making time for the process; and preparing oneself to accept criticism.