Peer Observation Program


A team-based peer observation program sponsored by the NSF-funded STEER grant and developed in collaboration with the USF Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

The focus is on collecting and sharing data in a non-evaluative way that benefits both the observer and the instructor being observed. Participants are placed in interdisciplinary teams of three in which  discussions are highly encouraged.


  • √ Spring 2018 (Pilot Program)
  • √ Spring 2019
  • √ Spring 2020
  • Spring 2022 - In progress


Faculty volunteers meet in groups of three Ideally, group members come from different disciplines which assures that class observers focus on pedagogy, not on content. Each group member observes a class of each of the other two. In addition, all three group members attend a class taught by a separate faculty member who uses an evidenced-base teaching method. After all members of a group complete their observations, they meet to provide feedback to one another. A closing event for all participants provides a time to debrief time at the end of the semester.


A kick-off event, at the beginning of the semester incorporates videos and role-playing by colleagues on how to be effective observers and how to provide collegial and useful feedback.

Participants will learn how to: move beyond watching just the content explanation, pay primary attention to the students rather than the instructor, record DATA rather than inferences/judgments, and carefully record the timing of everything. The idea is that an observer can see things a lecturer is too busy to see - especially what the students are doing (and if they are learning).

Program Requirements

  1. Attend a kickoff event (9 am - 12 pm; date TBA) where you meet your team, learn about the program and schedule your observations.
  2. Observe the two other faculty members in your team one time each and participate in a debrief session one-on-one afterward.
  3. Participate in one of the COMMON observation opportunities.
  4. Deliver a written reflection on what was learned, and how your teaching may change going forward.
  5. Attend a closing event at the end of the semester.


Upon completion of these activities you will receive a $500 stipend from STEER. Additional support will be available to help you implement a new strategy, if desired. Email Kelley for more information.

Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-Based Reforms (STEER)

This material is based on work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant #DUE 1525574. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.