Faculty Development

Faculty Development

WMU Peer Teaching Observation Program


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About the program:

The most important question that our peer teaching observers ask is "What will help you?" Peer observation is about your needs as an instructor. Don't expect a lecture about the "right" way to teach, or a critique of your syllabus, or anything generic (unless you ask for it!).

Instead, peer observation is about becoming aware of what you are and are not doing. Your peer observer can give you specific advice about techniques that can improve your performance. They will also help you set goals for yourself, based on a discussion of your strengths and areas of growth.

This program is for pre-tenured and tenured faculty who are interested in developing their classroom techniques, skills, and abilities. This program is not a replacement for or a contribution to a tenure application.

The peer teaching observation process:

    1. Pre-observation meeting
      The first step in the process is for you to sit down with the peer observer and discuss your needs. How can they help you? What areas are you interested in learning more about? How can they use their skills to give you a boost in the classroom? 

    2. Observation
      The next step is for the peer observer to visit your class and carefully observe your teaching style, techniques, and any barriers that might hinder learning.  They may also interview students, at your request.

    3. Post-observation meeting
      After the observation, you will have a meeting to talk about the class.  What did you do well? What could you improve on?  The observer will help you create an “action plan” of a few specific techniques or ideas you will try to use in the future.

    4. Follow up
      Finally, the Office of Faculty Development will talk to you about how our office can help you achieve your goals. You will learn about the programs and services we have that will help you reach your goals, and we will learn about new areas where we can expand our offerings.

Click here to view the peer observation process guidelines.

Click here to view an example of how the peer observation process might play out.

The Peer Observers (Click to open list):

All of the OFD peer observers are faculty who have been recognized for teaching excellence. They are experts in the classroom, and come from many different fields. All the OFD peer observers have a consistent approach towards peer observation that was developed by our office.

When requesting a peer observation, you may request a specific observer, or you may request that we assign one to you.

Kailash Bafna

Department: Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Specialty: Elearning, web-based lectures, small undergraduate classes


Sue Ellen Christian

Department: School of Communication

Specialty: Teaching writing, small classes, multicultural sensitivity


Chad Edwards

Department: School of Communication

Specialty:  Large lectures, student engagement, technology, social media in the classroom


Andrew Kline

Department: Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging

Specialty: Breaking down concepts to lecture with, student engagement


Irma López

Department: Spanish

Specialty: Small lectures, graduate and undergraduate


Debra Lindstrom

Department: Occupational Therapy

Specialty: Problem-based and case-based learning; developing critical thinking and clinical reasoning; giving students professional feedback


Sarah Summy

Department: Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies

Specialty: Teaching with multiple modalities, syllabus development including writing and implementing course objectives, undergraduate and graduate classes


Gwen Tarbox

Department: English

Specialty: Large lecture classrooms, student engagement


Grace Tiffany

Department: English

Specialty: Seminars, small lectures


Sally Vliem

Department: School of Nursing

Specialty: Small classrooms, simulation


Jacklyn West-Frasier

Department: Occupational Therapy

Specialty: Problem-based and case-based learning, developing clinical reasoning, small-group experiential learning.

Brian Wilson

Department: Comparative Religion

Specialty: Large classes



Request an observation:

To request an observation, please email faculty-development@wmich.edu.


Office of Faculty Development
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5268 USA
(269) 387-0732