Faculty Peer Observation & Coaching Certification
What is Peer Observation?
The Peer Observation Process is a coordinated and systematic conversation about either classroom or online instruction. Through the TCLT, the Office of Extended Learning and the Office of the Provost the UM-Flint has developed the Peer Observation program to encourage continual instructional improvement. Faculty can participate in the process in two ways.
- First, a Course Instructor can have their courses observed by a certified Faculty Coach by requesting an observation. The observation request form is linked here and on the Observations tab above.
- Second, faculty can become a certified Faculty Coach as described in detail on the Coaching tab.
How do course instructors benefit from course observations?
Instructors who participate will receive immediate, confidential and prospectively continuing feedback to improve their instruction. Working with a trained observer, the Faculty Coach, this confidential process emphasizes the sharing of ideas and experiences as opposed to evaluating outcomes. Because Peer Observation is formative rather than summative, its strength is in developing teaching excellence while building collegiality among faculty.
The process culminates in the instructor receiving a written report from their coach. The Instructor may or may not choose to show the report to anyone, or they may choose to use this for another evaluation, such as for tenure and promotion or as a portfolio document. Regardless of their choice, both participants will receive written recognition for completing the Peer Observation and Coaching Process.
How do I have my course observed?
In short, once you have your faculty coach in place, you will then complete a self-assessment activity. The purpose of the self-assessment is to focus on your most important instructional concerns. After sharing your focused ideas with your faculty coach, and once the observation is complete, you will continue this conversation based on what your coach observed. During or after this meeting, your coach will provide only you with their final report. For a more detailed explanation, link to the Information tab above.
An observation begins by completing the form linked below. This online form gives you the option of choosing your faculty coach or having us assign one to you.
Request an Observation
How can faculty coaches benefit?
Faculty Coaches are sure to discover new and creative teaching strategies as they observe many types of instruction. By participating in our online training course, followed by a half-day workshop, we show prospective coaches many examples of best teaching practices we have identified from our talented faculty. After completing this training, Faculty Coaches will gain new perspectives from their colleagues as they make suggestions and share their ideas about instructional improvement.
Faculty Coaches chosen through the Peer Observation and Coaching program may be eligible for a $250 stipend upon satisfactory completion of a requested peer observation. Criteria for stipend eligibility include:
- Faculty Coach has achieved certification status, and
- Faculty Coach is from a different discipline than the instructor requesting the observation.
How do I become a certified Faculty Coach?
Becoming a Faculty Coach involves these three steps.
Step 1: Complete an Online Course.
First, register below for the online training course. You will have immediate access to materials and activities that you can complete at your own pace. The course contains many ideas about instructional improvement with examples that follow the quality checklist we have developed. We suggest this course for anyone who wants to improve his or her instruction.
Step 2: Attend a Half-Day Workshop.
Next, once you have successfully completed the Online Course, you will attend a half-day workshop. One workshop is for face-to-face observations and the other for online observations. You can attend either workshop or both, depending on how you want to be certified. In these workshops, you will practice the observation protocols you learned in the online course. You must complete the online course before attending.
Step 3: Complete Two Observations.
Finally, you will complete two observations. Consider collaborating with:
colleagues you meet in the workshop;
faculty members you encourage to request an observation or
instructors who request an observation through TCLT or OEL.
The downloadable document below includes links to the forms and explanations the Instructor and Coach will need to complete the Online Observation Process.
The next downloadable document explains the Face-to-face Observation Process which varies slightly from an online observation.