FLO MicroCourse: Strengthening Our Teaching Through Reciprocal Peer Observations

About the Session:

Teaching is often a solitary practice; we rarely invite colleagues into our classrooms or see how our colleagues teach. This is often due to academic structures and because it can feel intimidating. However, discussions and feedback from peers can help us strengthen our teaching skills, including online teaching.  

FLO MicroCourse

During this Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) MicroCourse, you will learn about research on “paired teaching” and “Teaching Triangles,” two programs that promote professional development through mutual observation and discussion. Key features of productive mutual observations include:  

  1. Each instructor articulating their own goals for learning from the process,   
  1. Giving space for both the teacher and the observer to learn from observations, and 
  1. Establishing what makes productive (and non-productive) feedback.  

This FLO MicroCourse will prepare participants to engage in reciprocal peer observations for professional development, if they choose to do so (optionally after the course). Participants will have the chance to identify where they might like peer feedback on their teaching and examine any potential fears around being observed. They will gain practical experience in observing teaching, giving productive feedback, and learning from these observations. We will discuss equity considerations in observations and giving and receiving feedback. At the end of the course, participants interested in continuing reciprocal observations will be paired with a fellow participant. 

Learning Outcomes:  

Upon completion of this course, participants will have the opportunity to: 

  • Feel excited about learning from reciprocal observations  
  • Recognize the value of teaching observations for both the observed teacher and the observer 
  • Reflect on areas of their own teaching where they would like feedback and/or inspiration 
  • Know features of positive productive feedback, including equity considerations in giving and receiving feedback 
  • Experience reflecting and giving feedback in a practice observing scenario online 
  • Reflect on potential fears or challenges of being observed 

Participants should anticipate at least one hour per day of asynchronous learning. Two optional synchronous sessions are planned for the week:  

  • Tuesday, November 19, noon to 1 p.m. 
  • Friday, November 22, noon to 1 p.m.   

While attendance is encouraged, the sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend.  

Registration coming soon!

Please note: Synchronous sessions will be recorded, archived, and made available to course registrants. By participating in this session, you acknowledge you are aware that your participation may be recorded and the recording will be available to other course registrants.

About the Facilitator:  

Your FLO facilitator for this FLO MicroCourse is Linda Strubbe. 

Linda (she/her), Ph.D., is a Vancouver-based independent educational consultant for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) higher education at Strubbe Educational Consulting. Linda is passionate about supporting educators’ collaboration, agency, and joy in teaching. Through workshops, communities of practice, and curriculum development, she supports university faculty in North America and beyond in developing skills for effective and equitable teaching. She also supports STEM education projects as an external evaluator. 

Linda’s doctorate is in astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, and she has postdoctoral experience in physics and astronomy education research and faculty development in both Canada and the U.S. She was a Science Teaching & Learning Fellow with the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) at the University of British Columbia (2015-18). Linda is also co-director for the Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers (PASEA), and has worked with the University of Central Asia, American Physical Society, and American Association of Physics Teachers. She is excited to work with BC Campus to offer this new FLO MicroCourse!