All members of staff who teach are expected to participate in peer observation, as per their Faculty or School observation scheme (please see your Faculty/School intranet for details) and should record completion on University’s professional development portal, Develop (see also Peer Observation 2023_24 - for staff who teach (PDF, 1,052kB) on how to find the completion form on Develop). Peer observation forms and reflections are confidential to the observee.
See also the University of Bristol peer observation policy.
The process of observing teaching provides both the observee and the observer with the opportunity to learn from each other and to reflect on their teaching. It also provides an opportunity to disseminate good practice amongst colleagues by sharing thoughts on teaching practice and supporting each other’s development of teaching skills.
The following form, used on the CREATE scheme, can be used for teaching observation - it is mapped to the Activities of the UK Professional Standards Framework - the sector standard in teaching in Higher Education. This mapping supports those also seeking recognition for a category of HEA Fellowship.
Using the BILT form as part of CREATE or your School/Faculty peer observation scheme
Observations may focus on any area of the participant’s teaching/support for learning practice that they wish to receive some feedback on, including (but not limited to):
Face-to-face lecture, seminar, or lab demonstration
Online lecture or seminar (e.g. via Blackboard Collaborate)
One-to-one meeting with students (e.g. a PhD supervision, Study Skills session) either in person or online
We recommend teaching observations lasting for an hour.
The following steps outline the observation process:
Agree with participant which session/workshop/encounter/resources you are going to observe. Online – synchronous or asynchronous? Face to Face? Where and when?
Meet with the participant (virtually or in person) to agree a focus for the observation. For example, a participant might like you to focus on their use of technology to enhance learning, or how far their session meets principles of inclusive design.
Conduct the observation and record your feedback using the Observation of Teaching / Supporting Learning form 2021/22 (Office document, 50kB)
Send your completed Observation Form to the participant and agree a time/date to follow up the observation with a post-observation debrief. This could be via email, in person, or online.
At the debrief, use the Observation Form as the basis of discussion of a post-observation meeting between you both.
This process should take no longer than three-hours in total (pre-meeting, observation, debrief).
Have a question?
Get in touch with the CREATE team firstname.lastname@example.org