Effective Observation of Teaching & Training

An Introduction to the Effective Observation of Teaching, Training and Learning
3 Day Course for those new to Observation

This 3 day course introduces to participants to a reliable and robust method for conducting observations and giving feedback and compliments this with high quality training and guidance on its application

Observation is a key component of within most learning providers’ quality assurance systems. When observation focuses on learning and includes robust judgments and feedback that is consistent and in-line with the inspection frameworks it becomes a highly efficient tool for improving the quality of teaching and training.

Achieving this is far from easy though. Making accurate reliable and robust judgements, recording them in a consinct and consistent manner and providing feedback to those observed is a skilled activity, one that even the most experienced teachers and trainers need training and practice in.

The course has particular value for organisations seeking to bring greater consistency to the performance of the observation team.

Content can be adapted to meet the specific needs of individual organisations, if required (additional costs may apply), for example:

  • more time can be devoted to specific topics
  • activities can be contextualised to particular subject areas e.g. Sport, Engineering, Equine etc.

For Whom
This workshop has been designed primarily for those with limited or no observation of teaching, training, learning and formative assessment experience. The workshop is also of use for those looking to review, upgrade or just refresh their observation skills and practice.

Delegate Feedback

Aims and Objectives
The aim of this workshop is to help participants develop, or further develop, the skills and knowledge required to undertake effective observations of teaching and training sessions and to give feedback on them.

As a result of attending this day participants should be able to describe and explain the:

  • key components of a robust observation of process
  • attributes and characteristics of good and poor teaching and training sessions
  • key features of a well written post observation action plan
  • characteristics of a well written observation report
  • process and how to, agree a learning session action / improvement plan.

Participants should also be able to:

  • prepare effectively for an observation
  • interpret criteria to judge the effectiveness of teaching and training
  • record accurate, meaningful and judgements on the quality of learning
  • develop accurate and fair judgements from the recorded performance notes evidence
  • grade sessions accurately based upon the judgements made
  • give feedback more effectively


Day 1 – Getting the Basics Sorted

  • Why do we observe learning sessions – what is the point / purpose?
  • What observers look for when observing sessions.
    • General things.
    • Learning and what happens to demonstrate that learning is taking place.
    • Specific observation criteria
    • The Key questions observers should constantly have in mind.
  • Observer objectivity.
  • How the work of observers differs to competence assessments.
  • The characteristics of good and better learning sessions.
  • The importance of Differentiation to achieve stretch and challenge to meet individual needs.
  • The value of self evaluation / assessment to enhance teaching / training skills.
  • Observation preparation.

Day 1 also looks at the myths and realities about what Ofsted inspectors look for in teaching/training sessions.

Day 2 – Observation Skills

  • Evidence Gathering.
    • What is evidence?
    • How do we gather it?
  • Producing accurate, evaluative and clear performance notes.
  • Relationship between judgement statements and performance notes.
  • Producing fair, accurate and robust, evidenced based judgements.
  • How to grade sessions when required to do so.

This session will include considerable practical work including observing different types of teaching sessions and producing performance notes and judgements.

Day 3 – Observation Feedback Skills

  • Feedback Logistics and communication.
  • Planning a feedback session.
  • Feedback techniques to accommodate different types of tutor and situation.
  • The characteristics of a well written observation report.
  • Agreeing a learning session action / improvement plan.
  • How to structure a plan and produce improvement actions that are helpful for tutors.

This session will include practical work including observing feedback and dealing with different feedback scenarios.

Practical Application and Practice
Most participants benefit from on job practice of the skills covered between sessions. To maximise the benefits offered by any observation system the ongoing review and moderation of the observation reports, observation practice and development action planning is recommended