Peer Observation for Teaching and Learning

Online Delivery

The observer should structure their thinking in similar ways to when they are observing face-to-face learning and teaching, taking the opportunity to develop their own practice by analysis and reflection. Use the guidance as per the Observer's Process Sway resource.

Observing others’ online work will generate professional dialogue, encourage mutual support and offer a chance to share methods and approaches that work. Here are some themes that can facilitate peer observation for online learning and teaching (please note, it is not an exhaustive list, and the prompt questions are suggestions only):




Prompt Questions


Verified assessment briefs, marking schemes and marking standardisation/calibration activities can be shared. Samples of work and marking issues can be discussed.

How is the assessment aligned with the LOs? Is it assessment of learning, or for/as learning?
(How) was the assessment pattern altered for the online environment?
What advantages or disadvantages have been found/predicted?

Inclusivity and diversity

A week’s activities can be shared and discussed in terms of an inclusive practice strategy.

Are there any advantages of the online environment in terms of inclusivity? Any disadvantages? Can solutions be found if the latter?

Student engagement

Strategies for student engagement incentivisation and monitoring can be shared. Use of forums, quizzes, formative assessments etc can be explained/shown and discussed.

What opportunities are there for regular monitoring of engagement?
What works in terms of motivation in this environment?
How do we find out which activities students enjoy and benefit from?

Synchronous sessions

Webinars, Teams events or other ‘live’ online sessions can be joined by the observer. They should take notes on the delivery, approaches used and student response to material and activities presented.

What was the level of engagement?
What was the advantage of the ‘real time’ delivery?
Were there any challenges? If so, are there solutions?

Self-developed resources

A sample of podcasts, screencasts, captured lectures or similar resources can be shared. The observer should note the alignment to LOs and assessment, communicative effectiveness and other points of interest.

Was the length suitable?
Were there other tasks associated with the input?
What skills would students need to get the most out of the delivery?
Any disadvantages/solutions?

Recorded sessions

10 minute sections of two or more video and/or audio-recorded lectures, seminars etc can be shared. Observation forms can be used as for live sessions, if students’ responses ¬†are visible.

Were there a variety of tasks / activities for all students?
Was there opportunity for students to seek clarification?

Was the sequence of activities logical and clear?

Use of external resources

A range of external resources (commercial, Box of Broadcasts, Creative Commons etc) can be shared together with the activities students are asked do before, during and/or after the stimulus.

Where were the materials sourced?
On what grounds were they selected?
Is there a clear stimulus-activity-consolidation pattern?
Are there identifiable advantages / disadvantages of the resource(s)?


This short video outlines some of the potential opportunities that can be used for peer observation: