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Estelle and Melvin Gelman LibraryEckles Library at the Mount Vernon CampusVirginia Science and Technology Campus Library

Peer-Reviewed Exploration in Teaching: PRET

The PRET Program of the Teaching & Learning Collaborative

A PRET is a mechanism that, roughly equivalent in effort to producing a research article, allows faculty to demonstrate a peer-reviewed contribution to teaching with real impact in the classroom. The PRET program encourages both curiosity-driven pedagogical experimentation, as well as the adoption of well-established pedagogical techniques that are new to the individual.

During a PRET, a professor goes through a number of steps over a semester:

  • Writes and revises, based on anonymous peer-review, a proposal that describes specific learning-objectives and a substantial classroom intervention that is grounded in pedagogical literature and designed to meet those learning objectives;
  • Invites peers to observe and review the intervention as implemented over several weeks;
  • Allows peers to interview students (without the instructor present) to assess and report on impact on their learning;
  • Reflects on a review report written by peers;
  • Submits the original proposal, review report, and reflection as the final package for blind review.

Why consider doing PRET? The long-term goal of the PRET program is to provide teaching-focused faculty with a way to develop a strong portfolio of teaching contributions (PRETs) that, in a manner comparable with research contributions, have each been subjected to rigorous peer review and can be reported on CVs and annual reports.  Faculty who complete a PRET will get an attesting letter from the UTLC. A PRET also provides a safe, peer-supported environment in which to pilot a pedagogical idea for which you received rich, high-quality feedback and that you could later turn into a publication in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

When is it offered and how does one apply? The 2016 - 2017 PRET process will begin with a helpdesk to answer questions about the program: a drop in session will be held in early November, or email your questions to utlc@gwu.edu. Applications will be due in early December, with a first meeting likely in mid-December. The PRET itself will be for a course you would teach in Spring 2017.

The PRET program was initiated and is led by Prof. Rahul Simha, a Professor in the Department of Computer Science who heads the faculty advisory board.  

For more information, please send email to utlc@gwu.edu.