The development of a reporting form for peer observation of online learning courses: An e-Delphi consensus study of educators working in Health Professions Education

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Introduction: Peer observation of online teaching has been suggested to maintain and monitor online learning standards. However, this practice and the designed peer observation forms have been almost exclusively restricted to face-to-face or stand-alone synchronous/asynchronous sessions. This study, therefore, aimed to identify criteria for the successful design and delivery of online courses and develop a rigorous form specifically designed for peer observation of teaching in online learning environments applicable to the Health Professions Education context. Materials and Methods: A three-round e-Delphi technique was used to gather consensus on categories/items and process/structure of the peer observation form. A total of 21 international, experienced online educators working in Health Professions Education were recruited. A 75% consensus was considered as the minimum agreement level. Results: Response rates were 100% (n = 21), 81% (n = 17) and 90% (n = 19) respectively. The intensity of consensus was 38%–93%, while the agreement/disagreement consensus was 57%–100%. In Round 1, the 13 topics proposed as major categories for design and delivery reached agreement consensus. One option reached agreement on how to approach and structure the peer-observation process. All items within major categories reached agreement in Rounds 2 and 3. The resulting form presents 13 major categories with 81 items. Conclusion: The identified criteria and developed form address relevant educational principles such as constructive alignment, online instructional design, retrieval practice and spaced learning, cognitive load, and constructive feedback and authentic assessment, all of which have been suggested as critical aspects to ensure a high-quality learning experience. This adds to the literature and to educational practice as clear, evidence-based guidance for the design and delivery of online courses, which differ distinctly from traditional face-to-face teaching. The developed form expands the options for peer observation, from face-to-face and stand-alone synchronous/asynchronous sessions to fully online courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1097
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number4
Early online date28 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • educator development
  • online learning
  • online teaching
  • peer observation
  • reflective practice

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