Imagine you have completed a scholarly article, book or creative product that you intend as a contribution to your discipline. Who will evaluate your work, attest to its quality and determine whether it is published or exhibited? Who will review the work when you are up for tenure and promotion or contract renewal?
Now, in your mind’s eye, imagine a person who is likely to review the quality of your teaching for professional benchmarks.
I wager that you can put a name and highly familiar face to that second scenario. Colleagues in our departments and programs, whether department chairs, assigned mentors or members of a teaching committee, almost always conduct peer reviews of teaching. Frequently enough, we are responsible for inviting a colleague of our choice to review some course materials, visit class and craft a letter based on their observations. When it comes to our scholarship, however, peers external not only to our departments but also to our colleges and universities conduct reviews behind a double blind of anonymity.