Teaching Observation Program (TOP) Overview

Are you an instructor at Iowa State University who is interested in constructive feedback from a peer? CELT offers a peer observation program that provides formative, rather than summative feedback on classroom teaching.


Providing teaching observations and consultations have been a staple of the administrative leadership of CELT since 1993. Based on overwhelming interest in the peer observation process and the importance of peer observation to the enhancement of teaching and learning, the pilot Teaching Observation Program (TOP) was established in fall 2017. TOP strives to serve all interested instructors with teaching observations and feedback. In the pilot year, the CELT Advisory Board serves as the trained observers.

How TOP Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are 5 steps in the instructor-driven approach for instructors seeking observation.

Step 1. Instructor Initiates a Request to Participate in TOP

Initiate a request via an online form to participate in teaching observation and feedback. The form requires the following information:

  • Name
  • Department
  • Faculty rank
  • Years you have taught
  • Course name and number that you wish to have observed
  • Overall goals for the course
  • Overall goals for the specific class meeting you wish to have observed
  • What teaching strategies are planned?
  • What do you anticipate going well?
  • What aspects of the class does the instructor desire feedback?
  • Are there any difficulties or potential problems that the instructor is looking for input?

To request to participate in TOP, visit the TOP Request Form website.

Step 2. Teach the Class with the Observer Present

Step 3. Post-Observation Discussion between Observee and Observer

Participate in a face-to-face or zoom video discussion with the observer to occur within one-week following the observation.

Step 4. Post-Observation Feedback from Observee

The Observee submits feedback via an online form on the observation process within one-week following the post-observation meeting.

  • What was most useful part of the experience for you?
  • What was reinforced as effective teaching practice?
  • What specific changes do you envision as a result of this feedback?
  • Did you learn anything new about your students and how they learn?
  • Do you have any recommended suggestions or comments?

Step 5. Post-Observation Summary from Observer

Receive the post-observation summary from your observer including this information:

  • Name of observer
  • Name of observed, class name and title, date of class observation
  • Summary of overall goals for the course and evidence of these goals as observed
  • Summary of overall goals for the specific class meeting and evidence of these goals as observed
  • Summary of teaching strategies observed
  • Specific feedback on ideas for the instructor to consider moving forward
  • Selected attachments of CELT resources

Questions? call CELT at 515-294-5357 or email celt@iastate.edu