Observation of Teaching
Observation of Teaching: good practice and recommendations for consideration towards an institutional approach.
Observation of teaching is used in higher education institutions for development and progression purposes. In Maynooth University, observation of teaching is carried out by agreement between colleagues within and across departments, by colleagues from the University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and by colleagues from outside of the University. The purpose of this project is to learn more about good practice and to offer a proposal for an institutional approach to peer observation of teaching which would be considered by colleagues and could potentially be piloted on campus in academic year 2023-24. The project is being initiated in direct response to interest from colleagues in this approach, as communicated through one of the faculty T&L committees.
The project has three aims
- to capture Maynooth University staff feedback on the experience of observation of teaching in order to inform the project recommendations
- to learn about current good practice regarding observation of teaching by engaging with the most recent literature, and identifying models nationally and internationally
- to recommend a model of observation of teaching for consideration by colleagues.
The project is a collaboration between CTL and the Faculty Associate Deans for Teaching and Learning.
The work has alignment with a SPUR project which CTL will host in summer 2023; the work with the SPUR student will support a student perspective on the project.
Project key features and timeframes
- Project planning and agreement on project advisors
- Sharing project information with University community
- Identification of practice and previous work on this topic in Maynooth University, including connecting with previous partners on this work where relevant
- Engagement with the literature in this space and initial identification of key messages
- Drafting, piloting and distributing of staff survey on experience of peer observation of teaching
- Identification of models of good practice nationally and internationally
- Beginning work with SPUR student
- Analysis of survey findings and writing report on same
- Drafting of report including proposal(s)
- Drafting of OER explaining observation to students
July and August 2023
- Finalising OER explaining observation of teaching to students
- Sharing of final draft of report with Associate Deans for Teaching and Learning
- Consideration of report by Associate Deans
- Final version of student-facing OER shared
- Discussion of report by all project advisors
- Agreement on final report including proposal(s) for consideration by staff.
If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please contact Dr Alison Farrell in the Centre for Teaching & Learning on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Observation of Teaching project is guided by project advisors who ensure that the project goals are achieved, provide insights, advice and guidance, and contribute to the sharing of information about the initiative with the university community.
Denis Casey (CTL) Project Advisor and SPUR Student Supervisor
Alison Farrell (CTL) Project Manager
Susan Gottlöber (Associate Dean T&L, Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy) Project Advisor
John Keating (Associate Dean T&L, Faculty of Science and Engineering) Project Advisor
Lisa O’Regan (Head of CTL) Project Sponsor and Project Advisor
Helen Shaw (Associate Dean T&L, Faculty of Social Sciences) Project Advisor