Peer Review – really positive experience

Well this is a long time coming – my first post in ages!, and one which is about my first experience of being observed in my teaching by a peer.

First off – HUGE thank you to Emma (@libgoddess) for giving up her time to watch me give a class. This was not a passive exercise for her, since we used a Classroom Observation Worksheet which she had to be familiar with, and then complete and annotate during the session. She then gave up more time (over lunch) to discuss the session.

She gave me a really detailed, (and quite outrageously positive!) set of feedback which she was happy to let me share. I’m happy to share it, partly because it’s positive (huge sigh of reflief!) and partly to see what you can get out of the experience. I’ve also got a nice new pedagogical word to describe my sessions:


This includes – active learning, and learning by doing. I suppose that being an active learner (as opposed to a reflective one) it’s probably no surprise that I teach how I learn. And that’s probably the biggest thing to take away – that I might need to vary my technique a bit to cover more than one learning style.

I’m really looking forward to Emma letting me observe one of her sessions – I think I’ll learn as much from watching her, as by hearing her observations on my session, even if she’s teaching something that is not relevant to me subject-wise.

With regards to what the participants got from the session – well –

here’s some of what they’re taking away from the session:

– referencing does not have to be done manually
– knowledge of other referencing software other than endnote
– searching for papers on pubmed does not have to be so painful
– a new experience with pubmed – good
– knowledge about endnote – very helpful
– feel much more confident searching pubmed – use of myNCBI for updates etc
– endnote is much less scary now – it seems almost simple and useful, thank you
– formatting references and slotting them into writing  – now well within my reach

And some of the ways in which they thought the session could have been improved:

– maybe go at a slower speed, especially for the pubmed search
– maybe a small bit more on formatting adn changing a large body of text (ie with pictures, diagrams) with references still intact in the document
– perhaps mendeley tutorial for iPad users?
– have a cup of tea in the break (& possibly biscuits)

I’ll invest in a pack of hobnobs for the next session!

Here’s the slides of the session


2 Responses to Peer Review – really positive experience

  1. Sounds like a great experience. If you do deliver a training session on Mendeley for iPad users can I gatecrash it?

    • ilk21 says:

      certainly you can join, .. or even co-lead?? really fancy an iPad session “what’s on yours?” style.

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