The following nine Dimensions of Teaching should inform the process of peer observation of teaching. In a teaching session, it is unlikely that a teacher would demonstrate all nine dimensions and teaching strategies. Some teachers may use a few selected dimensions and strategies while others may use alternative dimensions and strategies suited to their discipline and/or students.
The dimensions of teaching are provided as a broad guide only while the strategies outlined are an attempt to illustrate the types of teaching behaviours judged to relate to, and enhance, the respective dimensions of teaching observed, and do not represent a list of required practices. The nine dimensions of teaching are not independent; inevitably there is overlap across different dimensions. The dimensions largely reflect the “traditional” lecture/tutorial presentation format adopted by many academic staff.
Other dimensions may be added/substituted to adjust to different teaching settings and styles, such as online teaching, small-group or problem-based learning sessions. What is essential during the observed teaching session is the effective demonstration of a planned approach to teaching using dimensions and strategies that have been identified in the pre-observation meeting.
Click on the headings below to learn more about each dimension.
Adapted from: Crisp, G. et al (2009) Peer Review of Teaching for Promotion Purposes: a project to develop and implement a pilot program of external Peer Review of Teaching at four Australian universities, University of Adelaide, an ALTC-funded project, 2007-8. Final Project Report June 2009. Thanks to RMIT and UNSW.
Download a printable copy of the Dimensions of Teaching comparison for synchronous and asynchronous teaching.