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Inspire your colleagues with your teaching ideas

Probably the most important thing to know about peer practice exchange (PPE) is that it involves peers – your colleagues, the people you work with – and that it’s about exchange, with a strong emphasis on sharing and developing best practice.

While some institutions might focus on the observation aspect, at Solent it’s all about providing opportunities for those new to teaching to benefit from the knowledge of colleagues with more experience, who in turn might gain new ideas and fresh perspectives.

Lynsey Watt and Rob Dalton have undertaken PPE as part of the PR & Communications course team, and both valued the experience.

For Rob, it was easy – a straightforward process to organise that fitted in with his normal working day, and which yielded some great feedback for him to reflect on. 

Lynsey gained some helpful hints on things she could do differently, but also appreciated hearing about what seemed to work well for her students, which she could then ensure she carried forward into subsequent classes. She particularly welcomed the chance to see the techniques and interventions that colleagues were using in their classes that her own students might respond well to. 

Gillian Saieva’s advice is to plan. For example, the instructional design team are currently interested in observing teaching in particular rooms, to get an idea of how students use the space and the technology. You, in contrast, might have a particular unit that you’d like to have supportively critiqued, and then you can ask a colleague to spend some time in class with you.

Alternatively, you could identify someone who inspires you, who you know has a good reputation for teaching. Even if you don’t know them, it’s worth dropping them an email and asking if you can come along to one of their classes. After all, wouldn’t you like to know if someone admires your teaching?

Yes, PPE can have a positive impact on university metrics, especially when it’s run at a course level. 

But what an opportunity it presents too, to learn from colleagues, share your own ideas and winning techniques, and help create a learning environment that benefits everyone in it.