The point of peer observations is to foster reflection on what is the primary purpose for the existence of any college—teaching and learning. As faculty, feedback is offered through peer observations, student evaluations, and grade reports. Peer observation is the only one of those three that offers witnessed information that supports a recommendation for growth.

Each semester tenure-track and part-time faculty are observed in accordance with Article 18.3 of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY Agreement. The link below includes the Notice of Conference, Post-evaluation Conference and Observation Evaluation Form. Observations are normally conducted between the fourth and tenth week of the semester. Faculty should consult with department leaders for more details.

Peer Observation Improvement Network for Teaching (POINT)

This initiative started in Spring 2011 with Dr. Christine Mangino as the Chief Investigator, and eventually became a permanent committee under the Center for Teaching and Learning. The objectives of this committee are to study and recommend enhancements to the peer observation process, which includes information on the following critical components:

  • Defining peer observation
  • The importance of pre- and post-observation conversations
  • Preparing for an observation
  • Conducting an observation in an online environment
  • Writing effective recommendations

The current members of the committee are:

  • Diana Macri,  Chair
  • Sandy Figueroa
  • Carlos Guevara
  • Antonios Varela
  • Jacqueline  DiSanto (former Chair)

Former members:

  • Andrea Fabrizio
  • Nelson Nunez-Rodriguez
  • Loreto Porte
  • Christine Mangino

The POINT committee has worked on a number of activities to accomplish its goals:

  • Two workshops were held as part of the Hostos Teaching Institute.
    • POINT Peer Review Level 1: Using GenEd Competencies to Strengthen your Peer Observation (December 9, 2016).
    • POINT Peer Review Level 2 – Interpreting the Form (March 3, 2017).
  • Mindful Conversations session: “Addressing GenEd Competencies in the pre-observation conversations”
  • Mindful Conversations session: “Planning for Assessment: Addressing GenEd Competencies in Major Assignments.” (September 15, 2016).

One of the outcomes from the research and work from this committee is emphasizing the importance of having a pre-observation meeting between the observer and observe; which is an example of professional growth opportunities for both parts. The video below is an example how a pre-observation meeting/conversation looks like:

 

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