Teaching Observation Fellows

Teaching Observation Fellows are Columbia University doctoral students who work closely with the Center for Teaching and Learning and with each other on a range of supportive, formative, peer-to-peer teaching observation activities. Senior Teaching Observation Fellows help to guide TOFs in the program. This fellowship is designed for graduate students who are interested in building skills in teaching observation and peer mentorship, and inspired by interdisciplinary conversations about pedagogy. Program activities are outlined below.

Columbia doctoral students who have successfully completed the CTL’s Essentials of Teaching and Learning workshop series, a CTL seminar or institute, and/or a CTL fellowship are eligible for this program.

How to apply to this program

Applications for 2024-25 Teaching Observation Fellows were accepted through June 10, 2024. A call for applications for the 2025-26 cohort will go out in early summer 2025. Send any questions about the TOF application process to CTLgrads@columbia.edu.


TOF Program Activities

Teaching Observation Fellows receive a $2,000 stipend after successfully completing observation and reflection activities during the academic year. TOFs are expected to devote 30-35 hours per semester to the program.

Teaching Observation Fellow activities include the following:

  • Attending a sequence of Teaching Observation workshops in the CTL during the academic year.
  • Conducting a number of teaching observations and consultations in partnership with peers in the TOF program. These observations entail planning and reflection protocols, which TOFs execute collaboratively with guidance from the CTL. Activities include peer teaching observations, practice teaching (microteaching) sessions, and consultations on syllabi, assignments, and lesson plans.
  • Partnering with graduate students trained as CTL Teaching Consultants to conduct structured teaching observations requested by instructors at Columbia.
  • Observing at least one faculty member teaching in a different discipline, with follow-on written reflection.

Skills cultivated by the TOF program include:

  • Hands-on exploration of formative assessment tools and approaches.
  • Definition and measurement of inclusive teaching practices.
  • Development of collegial and targeted conversations with colleagues about pedagogy in an interdisciplinary setting.

Successful completion of this fellowship qualifies participants to be CTL Teaching Consultants in future years. Teaching Consultants are paid to conduct Teaching Observations, Mid-Course Reviews, and Practice Teaching (Microteaching) sessions for Columbia instructors across the university, under guidance of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Due to the confidential nature of teaching observations, access to the program website is limited to participants in this fellowship.

The CTL is here for graduate students.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for graduate students in both their current and future teaching responsibilities.