The Baruch College Adjunct Faculty Handbook
Last updated on 7/9/2010
Departments are urged to follow procedures regarding peer observations and to standardize their approach to observation and post-observation reports. According to the collective bargaining agreement, all untenured faculty, including adjuncts, need to be observed during each of their first ten semesters teaching.
During this time, you will be assigned a department faculty member who will serve as your observer. He or she will make an appointment with you to observe a class at a mutually convenient date and time. The observer will prepare a peer-observation report which will likely include a "grade" (e.g., "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory") as well as remarks on various class and teaching topics. A copy will be provided to you. You and the designated observer will arrange to meet to discuss the report and observation feedback.
These post-observation meetings can be very constructive, especially if you're new to the classroom. This is also an opportunity to contribute your own thoughts and/or comments. In addition to providing the chance to reflect on one's strengths and weaknesses as an instructor, learn, and share information about teaching techniques and course material, they are also a means for getting to know a department colleague you might otherwise not meet.
As stated in the Faculty Handbook's Classroom Management page, in addition to formal teaching observations, faculty should be encouraged to sit in on colleagues' lectures. A helpful practice would be for one or more members of a department to agree to be observed in this way.
More teaching/faculty resources are available through Baruch's Faculty and Staff webpage. Specific links include but are not limited to: the Baruch Teaching Blog, Faculty Development, Course and Teacher Evaluations, and Faculty Handbook.