Teaching Observation Best Practices

  • Classroom Observation Checklist (Center for Excellence in Teaching, University of Southern California) – A customizable tiered checklist of various criteria based on recommended best practices for instruction at USC.  

  • Sample Observation Forms (Center for Teaching Innovation & Support, University of Toronto) – This site offers a number of different ways to log observations – from pre-observation forms to narrative logs, open-ended forms, checklists, online course observations, and post-observation debriefing questions. 

  • Online Course Observation - Faculty Evaluation Form & Guidelines (Academic Technology, Michigan State University) – Includes an overview of the scope, purpose, process and general guidelines for faculty observations, in addition to an adaptable course observation form, it also offers pre & post-observation forms easily editable to suit any observation.

  • A Peer Review Guide for Face-to-Face and Hybrid Courses (Penn State University) – Seeking observations regarding seven teaching principles (encourages contact between students and faculty; develops reciprocity and cooperation among students; encourages active learning; gives prompt feedback; emphasizes time on task; communicates high expectations; and respects diverse talents and ways of learning), this form offers examples of success for each criterion, and space to note evidence, strengths and areas for improvement.  

  • Resources for Observing Teaching in Higher Education (Office of Teaching Effectiveness & Innovation, Clemson University) – This document offers resources and lists additional readings for those looking to explore effective teaching and/or observations. It outlines protocols, a schedule, cover sheet to outline course context, observational worksheet and post-observation questionnaire.