Peer Review is a process that defies simple or agreed definitions or purposes. Sometimes ‘Peer Review’ refers to a formative process dedicated to improving teaching through evidence and observation and at other times it has been about summative process that requires gaining evidence to make an evaluation or a judgement about a person’s ability to teach. These two very different purposes make it confusing when referring to literature about Peer Review and this has led to several other names being created to differentiate these very different purposes.
The two most common alternative terms in the literature are ‘Peer Observation’ and ‘Peer Partnership’ both relate to the formative version of Peer Review. Having said this sites like http://www.peerreviewofteaching.org/ continue to advocate the term ‘Peer Review’ for formative purposes.
At the University of South Australia Peer Review of teaching is separated into two related but separate processes: