Teaching observations are one of the ways in which the University seeks to maintain quality and standards in teaching. Such observations also provide an important development opportunity, enabling you to engage in critical dialogue and reflection on your practical teaching skills with a recognised University Assessor.
Teaching Observations by University Assessors
Your practical teaching needs to be formally assessed by a University Assessor if you are:
- undertaking the Academic Professional Apprenticeship as part of your New Lecturer Programme requirements and your summative teaching observations are due;
- undertaking the Associate Teaching Programme (ATP) and your summative teaching observation is due (for any probation purposes);
- going for promotion to Senior Lecturer; where a grading of meets expectation or higher is required;
- a Specialist and Supporting Academic (SSA) teaching staff member and are required to have a summative teaching observation to meet the requirements of your non-academic probation.
To arrange a teaching observation, you will need to complete the Teaching Observation Request Form. You must complete this form at least 4 weeks prior to the date that you would like the observation, and provide more than one date in reserve. Organisational Development will confirm the observation scheduling to you within 1 to 2 weeks of receipt of your form.
All teaching observations will be recorded on the standard University Teaching Observation Report Form available below. There is a ‘Session Planning document’ in the Appendix of the form and this will be useful if you are new to University teaching to support you thinking about the different activities you and your students are partaking during your session. Once you have had your observation you will need to sign, date and upload this form onto the relevant Learn page Academic Probation Teaching Observations, unless completing the Academic Professional Apprenticeship, where you will be given access to the relevant Learn page. Please note you will need to 'self-enrol' as a student onto this Learn page in order to submit your observation form.
Formative Teaching Observations
In addition to formal teaching observations, both the Academic Professional Apprenticeship and Associate Teaching Programme (ATP) provide opportunities for formative observations earlier in the courses. These observations are normally conducted by the Probation Adviser or their nominee (for the Academic Professional Apprenticeship), or the Associate Adviser (ATP), and are primarily developmental in nature.
These observations use a revised version of the standard Report Form available below:
The Enhanced Academic Practice team is also able to offer teaching observations for continuing professional development purposes. This might apply, for example, if you:
- are an experienced member of staff looking to refresh your practical skills in teaching
- have received disappointing feedback on your teaching and wish to strengthen your skills
- are trialling a new teaching method and would welcome feedback from an independent, experienced colleague
Colleagues conducting observations
All colleagues conducting teaching observations, whether formal (summative) or informal (formative) should follow the procedures outlined in the document below:
Colleagues conducting teaching observations should take the opportunity to remind those being observed that the completed teaching observation can be aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), guidance is available below: