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Roopa Nagori, Training Consultant, DICE Consulting

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1 Roopa Nagori, Training Consultant, DICE Consulting
Evaluation of a new learning strategy through Peer Coaching and Reflection Roopa Nagori, Training Consultant, DICE Consulting

2 Introduction Recent changes in policies -Increasing pressure on budgets for staff development in educational institutes (The Guardian News, 2010) The potential of formalising ‘Peer Coaching’ for educators is relatively unexploited The researcher applies the Joyce and Showers ‘CPD Model for Coaching’ (Joyce & Showers, 1996)to formalise mutual peer development practices at a UK Further Education College.

3 What is Peer Coaching? A collegial process -faculty members voluntarily work together to improve or expand their approaches to teaching A co-operative endeavour that promotes the interest of those involved (Browne ,2006.) The main objective is planning and developing curriculum and instruction to achieve the goals of courses and institutes. Not a traditional or conservative mentoring process!

4 Using Joyce and Showers model for Peer Coaching
Peer coaching refers to the traditional supervisory mode of pre-conference/ observation/ post-conference ( Joyce & Showers,1996) It should not be confused with, or used for, evaluation of teachers. A CPD model for Peer Coaching based on Joyce and Showers’ research (LSIS, 2009)

5 An Innovative Implementation of Joyce and Showers Peer Coaching Model
Commonly, peer coaching teams utilise a process involving three major steps: Consultation to identify the focus of the coaching Observation of practice, Debriefing session where the coach shares his or her observations. Some teams may not use classroom observation, but instead review instructional materials or grading practices (Huston &Weaver, 2008).

6 The Action Research Project
The author attempted an application of the underpinning theory of peer coaching in the implementation of a new learning strategy. Aim To investigate if Peer Coaching can be used as a professional development tool for faculties across the institute To recommend guiding principles to exploit its potential to improve teaching and learning.

7 Methodology In a particular course involving 30+ students , providing formative feedback for individual presentations was becoming challenging. A ‘Peer Coaching’ initiative was designed as an intervention to engage the other two tutors with the new learning strategy. The process was implemented based on the theory of Peer coaching (Joyce &Showers, 1996)

8 Findings from the action research project :
Data included teachers’ coaching logs and written reflections on the coaching experience. Main findings The tutors were keen to continue their partnerships after the experiment on a regular basis, provided the time and support in terms of training and funding would be considered. One tutor suggested ‘Why not include this as a formal professional development activity across the department?’

9 Validating the findings :
In an attempt to formalise Peer Coaching as a regular feature of staff development at the institute, the researcher engaged in further studies. The researcher conducted quantitative research in three departments of the college using an on-line questionnaire. Two senior members of management were interviewed for their opinions on the strategic aspects of peer practice planning. Main findings from the qualitative research follow.

10 Findings from the primary research:
Q: Which of the following best describes the field in which you received your highest degree?

11 Q. Select the benefits of peer practice and include any others
Sharing best practice Shadowing experienced tutor Opportunity to observe a new teaching method Collaboration to develop course resources Developing new teaching and learning strategies Increased self-confidence/self-development Innovation on courses /Facilitating change Developing new assessment techniques

12 Q. Select the challenges in formalising or recording ‘Peer Practice’
Logistics Unavailability of peers Restricted time Finding and matching time to peer's schedule Difficult to arrange meetings pre and post implementation of new practice Limited skills in coaching Limited knowledge of peer practice

13 Skype Google groups Linked in E-mail Intranet
Q. Which technologies are possible options to facilitate peer coaching sessions? Skype Google groups Linked in Intranet

14 Discussion-Implications for practice
Tutors believe that peer coaching should be experienced as an organised activity, while some tutors hold that it takes place informally at any time or anywhere. Scheduling difficulties and lack of time appeared to be highly rated as potential challenges in the use of Peer Practice. Investment in training and support in terms of allocating time for Peer Coaching was highly rated as a possible means to strengthen it’s use amongst the college faculty. The potential to use technology such as Skype and Google Groups was a recurring recommendation.

15 Recommendations: An Innovative program for staff development
The pilot Peer Coaching project demonstrated that the coaching sessions facilitated better implementation and evaluation of the new learning strategy Based on the review of the literature and the above opinions, the author proposes guidelines to incorporate peer coaching sessions as a regular institution-wide practice.

16 The process for peer coaching should consider the following guiding principles:
Professional Autonomy- The control must belong to the individual staff members being coached Voluntary Participation-The program must be voluntary for both the coach and the colleague Self-evaluative and reflective-Main aim of the practice is to stimulate a more reflective and dialogic approach to development Formative Evaluation- A peer coaching program should be used for formative and developmental purposes of staff rather than for summative evaluation purposes Manageable in terms of time- It should be factored into the non-teaching aspect of work load planning.

17 Process to be followed in the coaching sessions
Coaching Session 1: The first session is to discuss the focus of the peer practice. Discussions could be recorded on the Peer Practice Form. Coaching Session 2: The second meeting is the peer practice discussion or observation. Where this is not a classroom observation, the second meeting may take the form of a demonstration of on-line resources, a design of a particular curriculum or particular assessment strategies etc. Coaching Session 3: This may take place immediately following session 2.This is the opportunity for both parties to reflect on the observation and discussion that took place. Process to be followed in the coaching sessions

18 The reporting mechanisms in Peer Coaching
Essentially Peer Practice and Peer Coaching is a confidential process that occurs between peers -only expectation is to confirm that faculty members have engaged in it at least once a year , using the Peer Practice Form. Staff members could be encouraged to discuss the coaching experiences within their Performance Development Review interviews to agree a personal development need.

19 The reporting mechanisms in Peer Coaching
An appointed administrator could then report the key data from the completed forms to the Head of Departments annually. Some examples of the key datahere are proportion of staff completing at least one Peer Coaching round in that year, areas of good practice highlighted in the department and key developmental needs in the department. Head of departments could then ensure that this data is fed into the annual evaluative processes.

20 Conclusions: Peer coaching program can engage faculty members in problem-based, contextualised opportunities to reflect on teaching and learning. When faculty members have an opportunity to participate voluntarily in confidential, trusting partnerships with experienced colleagues, conversation are focused on development in their own teaching environments. The role of technology in enhancing the coaching experience could be investigated further, to generate collective decisions that enhance institute -wide improvement efforts.

21 References Ackland, R. (1991).A review of the peer coaching literature. Journal of Staff Development,12(1), 22-6. Aderibigbe, S. A. & Ajasa, F. A. (2013). Peer Coaching as an institutionalised tool for professional development. Journal of Workplace Learning, 25 (2), Argyris, C. (2009). Handbook for Professional Training Programme for Subject Learning Coaches. Retrieved December 16, 2010, from LSIS: Bell, A., & Mladenovic, R. (2008).The benefits of peer observation of teaching for tutor development. Higher Education,55,735–752. Browne, L. (2006), Proposing a proximal principle between peer coaching and staff development as a driver for transformation.International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 4(1),31-44. GP Strategies Ltd.(2013).GPStrategies:Coaching.Retrieved April 10, 2013, from GP Strategies: Jewett, P., & MacPhee, D. (2012).A dialogic conception of learning: collaborative peer coaching. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education,1(1), Lofthouse, R. M., and Leat, D.(2013).An Activity Theory Perspective on Peer Coaching. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education,2(1). Marshall, B.(2004). Learning from the Academy: From Peer Observation of Teaching to Peer Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. Journal of Adult Theological Education, 1(2), QAA.,(2005).Outcomes from institutional audit:Staff support and development arrangements. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education: Rhodes, C., Stokes, M., and Hampton, G. (2004).A Practical Guide to Mentoring, Coaching and Peer Networking-Teacher Professional Development in Schools and Colleges. London: Routledge Falmer. Shank, M.J. (2005).Mentoring among high school teachers: a dynamic and reciprocal group process. Mentoring and Tutoring,13(1),73-82. Showers, B. & Joyce, B. (1996). The Evolution of Peer Coaching. Educational Leadership,53(6),12-16. The Guardian News (2010). Where the cuts are likely to fall in education. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from The Guardian: Weaver, T. & Carol, H.(2008). Peer Coaching: Professional Development for Experienced Faculty. Innovative Higher Education,33,5-20.

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