Peer Observation

Peer observation of teaching is a key element of academic development that teaching staff at Aston are expected to undertake to continually develop their practice. 

Lecturers can improve their teaching practice, transform their educational perspectives and develop collegiality (Bell 2005), through peer observation partnerships.

There are benefits for the observer and the person being observed in terms of sharing ideas in a supportive and constructive way.

These activities are also important in providing evidence for both Personal Development Reviews (Race, 2009) and promotion applications.

Overarching Principles

  • A discussion prior to the observation, which includes an outline of the lesson plan, content, and focus of the observation can be really helpful
  • This is an opportunity for both parties to discuss what areas of practice they wish to focus their development on
  • Observations should be discreet and have minimal impact on the teaching activity
  • Post-observation discussion should take place privately, not during the observation
  • Peer observation is a supportive process, which should seek to engender trust, mutual enhancement, and development of practice


Bell, M. (2005). Peer observation partnerships in higher education. NSW, Australia: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Inc. 

Race, P. et al. (2009) Using peer observation to enhance teaching.Leeds Met Press.