Peers in Pedagogy (Fall 2010)

PEERS in PEDAGOGY: BCC’s Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program – Fall 2010, led by Linda McAllister & Laura Ruberto

General Goals:

Through the Peers in Pedagogy Program we hope to encourage teacher effectiveness, collaborative learning, and student retention. We also hope the program, in its pilot Fall 2010 run, will help build community at BCC especially across disciplines and among part-time instructors who often feel isolated. This program will pilot two different approaches to self-assessment and peer-based assessment.


Participants will meet for an orientation during the last week of September when they will be paired with another instructor and decide on the method of assessment they’d like to use. With the assistance of the Program Leadrs, they’ll try out one of the two options (see below) to receive a mid-term assessment of their teaching and of student experience in their class. The Program Leaders will prepare a short conversational-video explaining the goals and basic structure for the program. The video will be put online.  They will continue to solicit interested participants. At the end of the semester, participants will draft a short report and attend a final meeting to debrief their experience and to offer professional develop suggestions to the Teaching and Learning Center.



Instructor is videotaped, watches tape, and does a self-assessment exercise based on video. Two people who self-evaluated with video meet and discuss findings and strategies for improvement, which could involve visiting each other’s classroom, for instance.

RESULT: Pairs will write up a collaborative report about efficacy of teaching strategies and also of the process of video-tape self-assessment. This report will be anonymous.


Two instructors will visit each other’s classrooms, observe some teaching and then (without the instructor present) engage students in directed conversation about the classroom learning using the TAP method. Instructors will meet and exchange and discuss findings.

RESULT: Pairs will write up a collaborative report about efficacy of teaching strategies and also of the process of TAP assessment. This report will be anonymous.

For more information, please contact Laura Ruberto ( or Linda McAllister (

What Makes Effective Teacher Teams?

Collaborative Learning Teams

This article discusses elements they thought lead to effective teacher teams. I found this through Alexis Alexander’s excellent EDT 6 course!

An excerpt is below:

NCTAF’s Six Principles of Success for Professional Learning Teams

Shared Values and Goals: The team should have a shared vision of the capabilities of students and teachers. They should also clearly identify a problem around which the learning team can come together, with an ultimate goal of improving student learning.

Collective Responsibility: Team members should have shared and appropriately differentiated responsibilities based on their experience and knowledge levels. There should be a mutual accountability for student achievement among all members of the learning team.

Authentic Assessment: Teachers in the community should hold themselves collectively accountable for improving student achievement, by using assessments that give them real time feedback on student learning and teaching effectiveness. These assessments are valued—not because they are linked to high stakes consequences—but because they are essential tools to improve learning.

Self-Directed Reflection: Teams should establish a feedback loop of goal-setting, planning, standards, and evaluation, driven by the needs of both teachers and students.

Stable Settings: The best teams cannot function within a dysfunctional school. Effective teams required dedicated time and space for their collaborative work to take place. This required the support, and occasionally, positive pressure from school leadership.

Strong Leadership Support: Successful teams are supported by their school leaders who build a climate of openness and trust in the school, empower teams to make decisions based on student needs, and apply appropriate pressure perform.

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