Peer Observation Improvement Network for Teaching (POINT)
At Eugenio María de Hostos Community College (Hostos) faculty observation, sometimes referred to as “peer observation”, occurs as a formal exercise that is part of a larger evaluation system. The observation is part of the faculty contract negotiated by the Professional Staff Conference (PSC), the union that represents faculty at the City University of New York (CUNY). Faculty members serve as observers, visiting one session of a professor’s class during each semester. Both faculty then meet and the observer offers their feedback.
In 2011 Dr. Christine Mangino, Dean in the Office of Academic Affairs, founded the Peer Observation Improvement Network for Teaching (POINT), a committee tasked with studying and enhancing the peer observation process at Hostos. As a subcommittee of the Center for Teaching and Learning, POINT has conducted research which has modernized and improved the peer observation process at Hostos. The objectives of the POINT 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
Since 2011, the POINT Committee has conducted research exploring and analyzing faculty and administrators’ perception of the peer observation process. One of the outcomes of the research is an emphasis on having a pre-observation meeting between the observer and observee, which is a professional growth opportunity for both parties.
Focus of the 2022-2023 academic year:
- To analyze data from focus groups and faculty survey
- To continue to support faculty in conducting effective, collegial peer observations.
- To provide professional development opportunities regarding peer observations
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).
Each semester tenure-track and part-time faculty are observed in accordance with Article 18.3 of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY Agreement. The form below is necessary to complete the process.
Hostos faculty utilize a Faculty Observation form which guides the observation; however, there is always a discussion afterward to share feedback and exchange ideas about educational strategies, learner engagement, group dynamics, and time management.
The current members of the committee are:
- Diana Macri, Chair
- Sandy Figueroa
- Carlos Guevara
- Antonios Varela
- Jacqueline DiSanto (former Chair)
- Andrea Fabrizio
- Nelson Nunez-Rodriguez
- Loreto Porte
- Christine Mangino