Peer Observation of Marking and Feedback

Guidelines for operation 2017-2018

The content of this page is changing. Details to follow. Please contact your College Academic Director for more information.


  • Peer Observation of Marking & Feedback alternates with the standard Peer Observation of Teaching.  This scheme will therefore be operated across the University during the 2017-18 academic year, involving all academic staff who are engaged in marking.
  • The scheme is designed to help colleagues reflect on, and enhance, the teaching they are giving through the provision of feedback; in partnership with colleagues and students.
  • Heads of Department should be aware that
    • this scheme does not replace moderation of marking, which will still be required as part of the process of assuring academic standards and
    • Peer Observation of Teaching will also need to be undertaken to support academic staff currently on probation.
  • Full details of the scheme are provided here:
    Peer observation of Marking and Feedback 2017/18
  • There is a proforma for the observations.
  • The operation of the scheme suggested below follows closely that of Peer Observation of Teaching.

Operation of the scheme

  1. The organisation of the programmes of observations for each semester is the responsibility of the Heads of Department/Directors of Studies for each department.
  2. For the 2017-18 round, all departments should arrange for some observations to be undertaken between cognate disciplines, so that there is some cross-departmental engagement. Newly formed schools may like to take this as an opportunity to compare approaches across constituent departments or programmes.
  3. As far as possible, observers and observees should be paired up and notified at least two weeks in advance of the coursework submission date. The scheme may be operated in conjunction with the routine moderation process, but it may be found beneficial to separate the two processes to ensure that the observee is focussing on the quality of the feedback itself.
  4. Selections of the pairings should be done so as to maximise the potential for dissemination of good practice: for example by pairing a member of staff currently taking the PGCertHE with a senior member of the department, or by pairing staff across different types of assessment.
  5. Coursework selection should normally comprise 5 or 6 items, to include pieces of work from across the mark range, the selection being made by someone other than the two members of staff involved. These samples should be copied, along with the cover sheet, so that the originals can be returned to the students in a timely manner.
  6. The observee should also provide the observer with a copy of the brief for the coursework assignment, along with any additional materials given to the students.
  7. The observer should review both the annotations on the script and the completion of the feedback coversheet.
  8. The documentary outcome of the individual observation process is the completion of the Observation Form.
  9. When the observer has completed the Form, there should be a meeting with the observee, to reflect on the feedback.
  10. The original completed Form should be retained by the observee with a copy being lodged with the Head of Department/Director of Studies.
  11. The Head of Department/Director of Studies should identify any staff development needs arising from scrutiny of the Forms and promote their implementation through the annual appraisal round. Where teaching standards are perceived to be at risk, this may be reported through the Head of Department.
  12. Departments are encouraged to run internal feedback workshops to share what has been learned from the marking and feedback observation process, including the clarity of the assignment briefs, and to discuss the relevance of good practices they have observed in other disciplines; it is very useful to include students within such workshops.
  13. The Head of Department/Director of Studies should present an annual report on the implementation of the scheme as part of the Annual Developmental Review for the department to the College Academic Committee. This report should include:
    • Record of the number of staff engaged as a proportion of the department
    • Summary of the identification of good practice
    • Summary of the advice given
  14. College Academic Committees will be required to report to Academic Policy Committee regarding the operation and outcomes of the scheme.
  15. The operation of this scheme is independent of probation arrangements, but staff may include their completed observation reports as evidence of teaching excellence. Reflection on this exercise can also be used as evidence in support of an application for HEA Fellowship through PEERS.
  16. Further guidance on the implementation of the scheme may be obtained from Colin Hewitt (, Jon Scott (, Alex Moseley (LLI) ( ) or Phil Marston (LLI) ( who will be happy to meet with departments to discuss any issues arising.

Share this page: