Applications open for spring faculty peer-observation project

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A new Washington State University professional-development opportunity for all faculty — the Peer Observation and Co-Mentoring Program — is accepting applications for spring now through Feb. 9, the Transformational Change Initiative (TCI) announced.

“This program was just opened in fall to educators system-wide and offers unique and supportive mutual mentoring for those who want to improve their teaching effectiveness in a non-critical manner,” said Erika Offerdahl, TCI director. “It offers an immersive, scholarly experience for faculty to reflect on and refine their pedagogical skills in a friendly, peer environment.”

Working in pairs, program participants observe each other’s classes and discuss their observations with their partners and program coordinators Kathleen Cowin and Theresa Jordan. Cowin, WSU Tri-Cities educational leadership professor, and Jordan, WSU Pullman history professor, are both members of the WSU Teaching Academy. They piloted the Peer Observation and Co-Mentoring Program over the past two years with academy members. The program offers a scaled-up version of the pilot, supported for three years by TCI.

The total time commitment for each participant will be about 12 hours, starting with a virtual orientation session Feb. 1 from 10–11:30 a.m. The program was first introduced in October; a recording of that session is online.

Part of the provost’s office, TCI’s goal is to ultimately boost student success. Several TCI initiatives focus on the professional development of faculty, such as ELEVATE conferences, the PIT Stops series, the LIFT Faculty Fellowship program, and the Peer Observation and Co-Mentoring Program.

“We are proud to add this opportunity to the suite of TCI faculty-development programs that support WSU faculty system-wide,” Offerdahl said.

Questions about participation in the spring Peer Observation and Co-Mentoring program can be directed to Cowin and Jordan.

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