Teachers Observing Peers Program

This program is currently paused

The Teachers Observing Peers (TOP) program provides UNC Charlotte faculty members with an opportunity to observe peers representing a variety of disciplines implementing interactive methods in a live classroom setting and online courses that exemplify diverse types of online course design. Whether you are an instructor who has been using interactive methods for years or are trying to get ready to teach your first class, you are likely to benefit from the observation by getting new ideas for effective practice and reflecting on your own practice.

Key Understandings and Principles of TOP

Classroom observations undertaken as part of the Teachers Observing Peers Program are entirely voluntary and for professional development purposes only. The observation of a class and debriefing session you choose to participate in has no connection to the peer observation processes required by Colleges for the Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (RPT) of faculty.

Observe with an open mind. Most of the TOP Teachers have been using interactive methods for several years in ways that work for them. You may leave a class observation with very different ideas about how you would use and implement a particular activity or technique in your own course. During the debriefing session, there will be the opportunity to discuss and reflect on if and how you might implement both general principles and specific strategies observed into your own practice.

Go with an observation form. We suggest you print out at least one of the peer observation forms designed to facilitate and guide your data collection during the observation. You can use them to take notes and prepare comments and questions for the debriefing session.

Class Observation - Student Engagement Map Double Entry Narrative Form
Student Engagement Map Observation Form Double Entry Narrative Observation Form Time Based Peer Observation Form
Image of Double Entry Narrative Observation Form (Online) Image of Guided Observation Form (Online)
Double Entry Narrative Observation Form (Online) Guided Observation Form (Online)

Plan for the debriefing session. When you select a date and time to observe a specific faculty member’s classroom, you also need to plan to stay for the debriefing session that follows the class. The opportunity to discuss with colleagues about the teaching and learning observed during the session is critical to the potential professional growth of the experience.

Steps to Complete

  1. Review the list of Available Classes to identify a course/instructor that you are interested in observing.
  2. Select a class/debriefing session that you’re interested in and click on the Peer Observation Request Form link.
  3. Enter your NinerNET username and click Start.
  4. Select your department from the dropdown menu.
  5. Select the instructor and course you would like to observe.
  6. Add in any additional information you may have, then click Request Observation.
  7. On the day of the classroom observation, show up early and bring an observation form for use during the class session.
    1. If in person, on the day of the classroom observation show up early and bring an observation form for use during the class session.
    2. If you are observing an asynchronous online course, plan an hour to look through the Canvas course site. Use an observation form as a guide.
  8. Engage in the debriefing session following the class by asking clarifying questions and sharing reflective thoughts and comments on the class session when appropriate. The debriefing session will be facilitated by the TOP Teacher and will be conducted in a climate appropriate to a community of learners.
    1. Due to high request volume, you may be obliged to share an observation time/debrief with other observers.
  9. At the end of the semester, you may be requested to provide feedback about your experience.

Due to high request volume, you may be obliged to share an observation time with other observers.

This program is currently paused. If you have questions, please submit questions at help.charlotte.edu