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Peer Review of Teaching (PROT): Observation

Obervation Overview

  1. Choose a colleague to observe. Work with that librarian and confirm a suitable orientation to observe.
  2. Once an orientation has been selected, schedule a pre-observation appointment with the librarian leading the session. This can be done face-to-face or by Zoom.
  3. Observe the orientation session.
  4. Schedule the post-observation meeting with librarian.



Pre-Observation Meeting

At the pre-observation meeting, this is the opportunity for the librarian being observed to discuss the following with their peer reviewer.

  • Provide the title of class, course number department, and faculty member.
  • What, if any, collaboration has taken place between the librarian and course instructor? Is this a course specific orientation and used in preparation for or in coordination with a class assignment? What are the goals/objectives of the orientation?
  • What are the instruction librarian's goals for the session and how they plan to achieve those goals.
  • What would you like the peer observer to focus on during the orientation? Or what are the areas of your instruction that you want help improving?
  • Anything else that might be important for librarian/reviewer.


During the observation, the peer reviewer should do the following:

  • Focus on the areas the librarian specified in the pre-observation meeting.
  • Content/Organization: Were goals/objectives well developed and stated clearly at the beginning of the session? Was information presented on logical/orderly way? Was the information clear and understandable? Was the information presented relevant to course needs, consistent with stated goals and objectives, and content appropriate to the level of student?
  • Interaction: Did the librarian engage the students and maintain their attention? Respond to non-verbal cues like confusion or curiosity? Did they encourage/allow enough time for questions or discussion? Respond well to questions raised during session? Develop a good rapport with students/faculty?
  • Presentation: Was presentation appropriately paced? Did librarian project voice, speak clearly and at a suitable pace, maintain good eye contact, and avoid using too many fillers like saying um or er? Were they knowledgeable, confident, and enthusiastic?
  • Supplemental material (Handouts, LibGuides): Are materials relevant and well-developed? Are they clear and understandable? Are they necessary?

In addition to the able, the observer should also note the following:

  • Items or behaviors you liked or found effective.
  • Items/behaviors you found ineffective or would recommend presenter change?
  • What were the instructor's major strengths?
  • Recommendations for improving teaching skills.
  • Describe things that may have happened during the class such as activities or behaviors that indicate the quality of teaching effectiveness.

During the observation, the peer-reviewer should be on time and sit out of the way. They should use the observation form to take notes and the check list from the pre-observation meeting to make sure to focus on the librarians objectives.

Post-Observation Meeting

Shortly after the observed session, the librarian and peer reviewer should schedule a follow up meeting for an informal assessment of the orientation. This meeting is a time of conversation and reflection. Topics to be covered in the post-observation meeting include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Librarian should start with their personal assessment of the orientation. What do they feel went well? Dd they achieve their goals/objectives? What did not work so well or what could be done differently next time?
  • Peer reviewer should prepare notes and recommendations using the observation form to share with the librarian.
  • Go over findings and engage in conversation about recommendation/strategies etc.
  • Reflections: anything that stood out, high quality aspects, suggestions to make or areas for development.
  • If possible, get results from faculty/student feedback from you session.
  • Include optional self-review of your orientation.

After the post-observation meeting, the teaching librarian might set a personal goal of changing/enhancing their instruction based on the feedback they received. This information may be included in their annual review goals/objectives.