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Peer Instructor-Led Observation of Teaching (PILOT): PILOT Structure

PILOT Purpose and Structure

Purpose of the PILOT program: To facilitate connections between instructors across the library and provide the opportunity for instructors to gain valuable feedback for reflection on their instruction from a peer observer while learning new teaching strategies from another instructor as an observer themselves.

The PILOT program consists of at least 3 distinct meetings between each instructor and their observer (6 total between the two members of a dyad). There is

  1. a pre-observation discussion
  2. the observation itself, and
  3. a post-observation discussion. 

There is no set time frame in which each of these meetings must be held, though generally it is recommended that they be completed in a relatively close proximity to allow for maximum recall of specific points for feedback.

The PILOT protocol form is provided below to guide the process and discussion, but it is not required to be submitted in any way. For convenience, the protocol form has been re-created below for your perusal in deciding if you would like to participate. If you do, please go to the tab titled "PILOT Sign-up". If you have questions about any aspect of the PILOT program, please email Chris Miller.

Pre-Observation Discussion

Pre Observation Talking Points

Class content:

  • Tell me about this class and what you hope to achieve in the session (learning outcomes).
  • Do you anticipate any particular challenges in this session?
  • What would you like me to focus on during the observation?
  • Is there an area you feel you are weaker in? Is there an area of strength?
  • Are there any areas on the protocol that you would like me to eliminate or are not relevant?
  • What do you hope to gain from this observation?

Logistical considerations:

  • Where would observer best position as to avoid disrupting class?
  • Will you (or lead instructor) mention the role of observer to students?
  • When can we meet after the teaching session?

Peer Observation Form

Peer Observer:




Mode of Delivery:

Note: These areas are only intended to provide some potential areas of focus for the observer and are not intended to be requirements of all instructors or observations. Final decision on dimensions to be observed/provided feedback on are up to the observation teams in the pre-observation meeting.

Individual Style

  • Vocal delivery (volume, pace, articulation, modulation)
  • Demonstrates engagement with students
  • Uses gestures appropriately
  • Makes eye contact with audience


  • Clear introduction
  • Organized
  • Minimizes use of jargon
  • Explains terms & concepts
  • Incorporates examples relevant to students (and to course content)
  • Matches stated objectives of the session to the course assignment
  • Clear conclusion
  • Assessment

Active learning strategies

  • Appropriate
  • Clearly explains objective of activity
  • Allows time for completion & debriefing

Visual aids (e.g. handouts, web guides, Presentation slides)

  • Relevant, used appropriately
  • Used effectively
    • Organized, legible, not text-dense


  • Asks for feedback
  • Responds to changes in student engagement
  • Listens carefully and responds appropriately to comments & questions

Post-Observation Talking Points

Post-Observation Talking Points

  • How do you think it went?
  • What do you think went well?
  • What do you think didn’t go as well?
  • You asked me to focus on certain aspects. How do you feel those went?
  • Were there any issues with this class/session you would like to discuss?
  • Reflective questions on specific actions/issues:
    • How did you feel at that point?
    • What would you change or do next time?
    • Why do you think that happened?


Also for consideration:
  • What did I learn as an observer that I might be able to apply to my own teaching?