FS: Advancing Teaching Practice through Peer Observation and Coaching
Date & Time
Thursday, June 17, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Health professions educators often have limited opportunities to grow their teaching skills beyond learning that occurs external to the instructional environment. For those without background in education, they may also have had little opportunity to observe instruction beyond what they experienced as students themselves. Instructional coaching can be highly effective, but relies on dedicated staff and resources beyond what is available to the average medical educator. Peer observation and coaching is a practical, high-leverage strategy that focuses on teaching skill development in context. The process involves focused observation of instruction paired with pre and post-observation conversations that engage both observer and observed in reflection about teaching practice. As a result, they each gain understanding of best practices and the cause and effect relationships between teaching practices and learner experiences. Based on the frameworks of Knight (2007), Joyce and Showers (1996), and Rudd, et al. (2014), the process employs tools and protocols for peers to coach and learn from one another, regardless of their level of education expertise. This session will present a non-evaluative peer coaching strategy and provide participants the opportunity to practice, identify challenges, and troubleshoot potential issues. This development of observation and feedback skills will enable peers to learn from one another and grow their teaching practice.

This session will engage participants to:

  1. Explore key elements of peer observation and coaching as a faculty development strategy;
  2. Apply tools for observing instruction and providing growth-evoking performance feedback;  
  3. Identify and troubleshoot common pitfalls in the peer observation and coaching process; and
  4. Plan for application and implementation in their own teaching contexts. 
Rachel Porter