Sunday, January 12, 2014

Workshop on PEER OBSERVATION in the Higher Education Sector

360 degree appraisal has taken center stage for all professional organizations cutting across sectors and levels. Peers form the new range of stakeholders (read as the backbone) out of the whole lot, who are given adequate importance while conducting an appraisal solely for the developmental causes of individual professional growth and the overall organization at large. Learning from peer by sharing information had been in vogue for time immemorial. The emergence of knowledge sectors, viz. Information Technology, Information Technology enabled Sectors, Biotechnology have given new dimension to learning and development of the employees so as to create a culture of holistic growth in line with the organizational vision and mission. Prof. Salim Saeed Salim Bani Orabah, Head of Section, English Language Programs, Ibra College of Technology(ICT) and Prof. Haroun Mohammed Abdullah Al-Baloushi, Lecturer, English, Ibra College of Technology having decades of experience in formulating, implementing and publishing the first-hand experience of peer observation in the Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman, have presented the same to a Higher Education Institution (HEI) set-up, vis-à-vis that of Ibra College of Technology, one of the seven colleges monitored, controlled and administered by the Ministry of Manpower, Sultanate of Oman. The duo has provided the academics and academic administrators of ICT with substantial value addition to the teaching-learning environment of the targeted institution that in turn would also provide food for thought for all other HEI in the Sultanate of Oman and rest of the world. The focused workshop conducted by the in-house experts comprising of audience entailing the teaching faculties from the Business Studies, Engineering, Information Technology, English Language Center, along with the administrative staff clarified all the three phases in an academic oriented peer observation, i.e. pre-observation, observation and post-observation. The hands-on approach adopted by the facilitators during the workshop, allowed the participants to understand the significance of peer observation in an HEI set-up, primarily for self-development, finally culminating in leveraging the much needed metamorphosis in the teaching-learning environment of the educational institution. The greatest benefit from such an observational methodology unlike a routine one conducted solely with the objective of performance appraisal by the immediate supervisors is the fact that the onus lies more with the observee rather than the observer, although the learning derived by the latter in order to mature as a professional observer acts as the perfect icing on the cake. The complete paper authored by Prof. Salim Saeed Salim Bani Orabah detailing peer observation, can be accessed from .  The experts can be reached at and .