Sharing Practice Policy
Sharing Practice Policy for the Graduate School’s Professional Development Programme
The Graduate School procedure for sharing practice through a peer observation scheme has been designed to develop and support the quality of the provision offered to our students. The scheme positively supports all tutors in their own professional development, complementing existing internal quality assurance mechanisms and is intended to be aligned with College’s peer observation policy. Graduate School tutors are invited to share best practice by participating in this scheme every three to four years.
As part of the internal quality assurance mechanisms in the Graduate School, this procedure aims to support all tutors (and particularly new ones) by observing and sharing practice with a peer in order to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas needing development and ensuring best practice is shared, discussed, and supported.
The focus of the peer observation and discussion is to learn from each other, support our professional development and share good practice in order to continually enhance the quality of the provision we offer to our students.
The objectives of the sharing practice procedure are to:
- encourage and motivate tutors to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching and learning strategies and practices.
- help tutors explore ways of enhancing the student learning experience.
- foster discussion, sharing and dissemination of effective practice in teaching and learning across GS courses
- contribute to maintain a high quality of Graduate School provision
In the Autumn term of each academic year (November/December), a member of Gradmin team will develop a schedule of peer observations, proposing a list of tutors that will be observed during the year, plus the list of prospective peer observers. It is estimated that tutors will be observed at least once every 3 or 4 years. All new tutors should be scheduled for observation during their first year of teaching at the Graduate School.
Observers are members of the Graduate School’s tutor team (any tutor who teaches as part of the Graduate School’s professional skills programme), or other suitable member of Imperial staff. This pairing list will be then approved by the Head of Pedagogy.
Once the pairing has been confirmed, Gradmin will email all individuals involved with a copy of the process and guidance. Gradmin will also begin to schedule observation dates.
- Observers receive a copy of the GS Sharing Practice Guide sheet, to assist with the process.
- The Observer is expected to attend the workshop/course in full. On occasions the observer may see only part of the workshop but it should be enough to inform a useful discussion (at least 1 hr).
- As soon as possible after the observation, the tutor and peer should meet to discuss the session.
- The peer observer should bring a copy of the Observation Guide to comment on all the aspects they would like to discuss with the Tutor. This discussion should contain positive and constructive feedback, highlighting useful and shareable good practices.
- An agreed summary of the discussion should be completed in the Sharing Practice Form and submitted to by email to Gradmin, ccing the Head of Pedagogy and the Tutor’s programme Lead/Line manager. An annual summary document of the sharing of practice activities will be provided to the Graduate School’s Learning and Teaching Group.