More Effective Observation of Learning – Refresher Course

A 2 day refresher course for experienced Observers

The course has particular value for organisations seeking to further enhance the quality of their Observation teams and develop the consistency of process and outputs.

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 far from easy even the most experienced observers benefit when they revisit and review the latest in good practice.

The course will also look at the myths about what Ofsted inspectors look for in teaching/training sessions.

For Whom
This workshop has been designed as CPD or refresher training for experienced Observers. Whilst the outline content headings look similar to those within our 3 day course this course assumes the basics of effective observation are known and understood and focusses on overcoming the practical challenges Observers experience. This course is not suitable to those new to Observation.

Where required more time can be devoted to specific topics and activities can be contextualised to particular subject areas e.g. Sport, Engineering, Equine etc. (additional costs may apply)

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this workshop is to help participants refine and further develop their skills and knowledge in the effective observations of teaching and training.

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


Day 1 – Revisiting Observation Essentials

  • 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.

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

Day 2 – Improving 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 day will include considerable practical work including observing different types of teaching sessions and producing performance notes and judgements.

Follow on CPD
Participants may also benefit from follow-on CPD on:

  1. Observation Dialogue Feedback
  2. Moderation, Report Writing and Action Plans