Reflective Practice
Tutorial session

Peer Observation

The process of peer observation usually involves inviting a peer to review your performance through classroom observation, but may extent to an examination of teaching materials and course design. You may invite a colleague from within your subject or discipline area, or draw from outside expertise from faculty or university based teaching and learning support units.

Observations of your teaching, and classroom interaction are intended to be developmental in nature, as often a peer or expert will be able to comment on specific aspects of your teaching style, for example, level of student engagement, student interaction, clarity of communication, pitch and pacing, and in doing so offer some suggestions for further improvement.

But peer observation doesn’t have to be all one-way! Often there is much to be gained by having an opportunity to see a peer teach, it may be a peer who is identified as being a successful teacher. Such observation can often provide a stimulus for reflective practice as a way for ‘beginners’ in their own discipline to recognize consonance between their own individual practices and those of ‘successful’ practitioners.

To get you started here is an observation template that might be helpful in providing some structure when giving feedback to a peer: