• Introduction

  • Introduction

While academic staff regularly receive feedback on their teaching from students, not everyone gets feedback from colleagues. Some faculties and departments operate a structured system of teaching observation, others encourage staff to engage in teaching observation on a voluntary basis, and still others leave this entirely to the staff member’s discretion. There is ample evidence that receiving feedback from colleagues on one’s teaching and classroom management is one of the most effective forms of professional development (Windsor et.al. 2022).

Peer review of teaching can be conducted as a formative review process for continuous professional learning and development and as a summative review process for personnel events such as annual performance reviews, contract renewals and promotions exercises. At the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine has, for the past decade, had a formalized, structured peer review of teaching for summative purposes.

In order to enhance student learning, the peer review mechanism is recommended in the HKU Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Strategy 2021-28 which was approved by Senate in July 2021. The details of the peer review mechanism are set out in the Senate paper (263/323) ‘Enhancing Teaching Evaluation for Professoriate and Teaching Staff Undergoing Major Personnel Events’ which can be downloaded here [For HKU Staff only]. According to a note from the Registrar (May 3, 2023), a full evaluation of this review system will be undertaken after one year of implementation instead of by the end of academic year 2025-26 as set out in the Senate Paper.

As subsequently announced in the tenure and promotion call circular to Professoriate Staff during the 2023 Fall exercise from the Human Resources Office [The full announcement can be found here: https://www.hr.hku.hk/news/internal_communication/announcement.php?id=452 ], starting from the 2023 Fall exercise, summative peer review of teaching has been included in the evaluation process for Professoriate Staff undergoing the tenure and promotion exercise as a pilot run. A full rollout is planned for Spring 2024, and summative peer review of teaching will be required for major personnel events of Professoriate and Teaching Staff. It is compulsory for all summative peer reviewers to attend a training session hosted by TALIC.

The peer review requirement will apply to following types of recommendations submitted to the Human Resources Office/ the USPC after July 1, 2024:

when seeking contract renewalwhen seeking contract renewal
when seeking promotion and/or tenurewhen seeking promotion
when seeking initial reappointment beyond retirement age
Below is a figure which summarizes the summative peer review process at HKU. HKU Staff can access a more comprehensive figure here [For HKU Staff only].
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