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Teaching Observations for Graduate Students


Are you looking for confidential feedback on your teaching? Request an observation of your teaching at Columbia! The CTL offers observations by trained graduate student Teaching Consultants who can help you think through your course goals, your teaching observation experience, and your future teaching. CTL Teaching Observations are confidential and evidence-based, developed to support you in your instructional practices.

Teaching observations count towards completion of CTL’s Teaching Development Program for graduate students.


Interested in a Teaching Observation?

Requests for teaching observations (for online or in-person classes) are currently being accepted.

Get Started

To arrange for a teaching observation, please submit the online request form at least two weeks prior to the date when you like to be observed. 


What to Expect

Teaching Observations provide you with individualized feedback on your teaching, following evidence-based principles for effective teaching, learning, and inclusive engagement. Teaching Consultants assigned to graduate student teaching observations are current Columbia doctoral candidates who have completed the year-long Teaching Observation Fellows program and have completed CTL training. They are prepared to help graduate students to reflect on their teaching and identify their strengths.

Instructors who request a Teaching Observation are asked to consider their learning goals for the course and session and what they hope to learn from the observation experience. The goals the instructor provides help inform and focus the consultant’s observation and feedback. You may also request that your observed session be videotaped, in order to facilitate a self-observation process.

The Teaching Observation process

  • Step 1: Goal-setting conversation: the instructor discusses student learning and pedagogical goals with the CTL consultant to help focus the Teaching Observation, interpretations, and feedback.
  • Step 2: In-class observation: class is observed for approximately 1 hour, even if the class runs longer.
  • Step 3: Post-observation consultation: instructors meet with their consultant to debrief the teaching observation experience and discuss observed evidence of effective teaching, areas for further development, and next steps.

At the conclusion of the observation process, instructors will receive a written consultant report, which will include a summary of the experience, feedback, and resources for further development. Finally, instructors will be asked to complete a feedback survey for CTL staff to continue to improve the Teaching Observation process.

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.