Using peer review to foster good teaching

Sue Samson, Donna E. McCrea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose - This paper seeks to describe the implementation of a peer review of teaching (PROT) instructional improvement program at the Mansfield Library at The University of Montana. The success of the PROT program is based on its teacher-friendly collegial mentoring. This article provides a model for effective implementation in other academic libraries. Design/methodology/approach - The paper describes a program implemented to improve teaching by librarians through a peer appraisal model. Built on best practices, the PROT program implementation is a three-step process that provides a framework for integrating formative assessment into teaching. Findings - Program evaluation documented that librarians valued their participation as both teachers and observers. Designed to encourage instructional improvement through formative and structured feedback provided by peers, the program has continued to grow as part of the assessment opportunities integrated into the library instruction program. Practical implications - This paper provides a model for the effective implementation of PROT in academic libraries as a formative method to strengthen quality teaching. Originality/value - This paper focuses on good teaching and formative assessment, both of which are vital to a quality information literacy program, and establishes the effectiveness of the mentoring environment to foster instructional improvement. It further identifies how this process can be integrated into a full spectrum of library instruction and instructional assessment initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalReference Services Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Academic libraries
  • Assessment
  • Information literacy
  • Library instruction
  • Mentoring


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