Teaching Observations

A Guide for Observing Teaching

Getting ready to observe your colleague’s teaching? Are you planning on inviting a colleague to observe your teaching? Not sure where to start?

The following videos will help guide you through a formative process that will ensure the observation is an enriching experience for both observers and instructors being observed.

A note on formative versus summative assessment: Academic Affairs and the Center for Teaching and Learning encourage a formative process of peer observation, one that provides constructive and detailed feedback on the goal(s) the instructor is attempting to achieve in the classroom, rather than a purely “summative” or evaluative process. Providing formative peer observations is particularly important as many of instructors are still adapt to remote teaching for the first time.

Would you like to request an observation from the Center for Teaching and Learning?

You may also request that a staff member with experience in course design and evidence-based teaching strategies complete a formative and confidential observation of your teaching. Observations completed by a CTL staff member will focus on general pedagogical goals and/or teaching strategies rather than discipline or content specific goals (examples: implementing active and inclusive teaching strategies, varied methods to increase student engagement, and formative/summative assessment practices). These observations are not meant to critique instructors, but rather, are meant to help make instructors aware of different approaches, to encourage an open-mind and questioning attitude, and to provide a model through which instructors can reassess their own teaching practices.

Instructors will be provided with a detailed report and an official letter detailing participation and completion of the teaching observation. How the details from the observation are shared beyond the consultation with the CTL staff member will be left to the discretion of the instructor (CTL does not share the details with anyone other than the instructor).

For more information on the process (and sample documents)

If you would like to request an observation of your teaching, please use the following link to schedule a pre-observation meeting with Jennifer Pollard and/or Magdalena Vázquez Dathe (Assistant Director, Teaching Support at Center for Teaching and Learning):

Jennifer Pollard

Magdalena Vázquez Dathe