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LEAD’s Peer Review of Teaching Program Pilot

Judith Marychurch, Associate Professor Kelley Burton


In March 2024, the Legal Education Associate Deans (LEAD) Network launched the pilot of an Australian Peer Review of Teaching (PRoT) Program in the discipline of law. This national initiative responds to the call from the Chairs and Panel Members of the Australian Legal Education Awards (ALEAs) to utilise peer review as a measure of teaching effectiveness in ALEA nominations, as well as the ongoing concerns with over-emphasising student evaluations of teaching. Importantly, the LEAD PRoT Program fills an equity and access gap for those law academics at Australian law schools, faculties and institutions that do not offer opportunities to engage in peer review. The LEAD PRoT program is aligned with the Australian Universities Accord: Final Report’s recommendations to systematically use peer review to improve teaching practice and introduce an accreditation system at a national level. Consistent with these recommendations, LEAD accredits LEAD Peer Reviewers based on participation in professional development such as the LEAD PRoT Community of Practice. The potential benefits for LEAD Peer Reviewers include empowering other law academics by sharing their knowledge and feedback, strengthening their connections and collaborations with the national legal education community and growing their leadership skills. On the other hand, LEAD Peer Reviewees are provided with evidence to improve their learning and teaching practices, and support applications and/or nominations for probation, promotion, awards and fellowships. Eleven Australian law schools (Canberra, Curtin, Griffith, MLS, QUT, UNE, UniSC, UniSQ, USyd, UWA and WSU) that are members of the Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) expressed interest in participating in the LEAD PRoT pilot. In this conference presentation, the Co- Convenors for LEAD reflect on the pilot of the LEAD Peer Review of Teaching Program, including the matching process, and present the learnings using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.