Welcome to the Peer Observation page of the website. If you have clicked on this page, I expect you are either interested in sharing your expertise or would like to learn from an experienced peer. We now have a new system called VYGO, which can link you with someone looking to observe or be observed.

What is peer observation?

Peer observation is normally a formative process where 2 peers work together to observe one another’s teaching or academic practice.  In the wider CU Group approach, the observation can go beyond teaching.

It is predominately a scheme designed to disseminate good teaching practice​

For example it could be:-​

  • A traditional peer observation ​

  • The person requiring support ‘observee’ might sit in on your teaching interaction to witness good practice and gain greater understanding of an area they are struggling with​

  • The ''observee' may wish to find out more about a different aspect of teaching practice that you as an observer are proficient in​

  • A roll on roll off scheme which you can control via the VYGO platform​

  • Cross dissemination and interactions which may be Coventry University Group wide ​

  • This is not a mentoring scheme and will involve one off interactions with the observee. No long-term relationship or commitment to any one person is required ​

Why is peer observation recommended?

The key aim of engaging in peer observation is:

  • Enhancing teaching by learning from one another
  • Allowing for critical reflection on one’s own teaching
  • Enhancing the students’ learning experience

Who can engage in the peer observation scheme?

Experienced peers (mentor)

These are experienced colleagues that can include academics or professional services staff that regularly receive good feedback from students in their teaching, learning and assessment or supporting academic practices or who have a specific strength they wish to share.  Consider putting yourself forward to support your colleagues and you may be invited to join the scheme.  See the key areas of observation identified below.

If you are selected as an experienced peer to observe or be observed, please create a brief profile on VYGO  detailing areas you can offer support to other staff.

Mentors time commitment

You will have full control over the amount of time you are willing to commit to the peer observation scheme by altering your status on the VYGO platform.

Link to the VYGO Platform

Link to recording of training session on how to become a mentor/observer on VGYO:



Colleagues eager to learn (mentee)

Anyone who may be new to teaching in HE, seeking change and enhancement in their teaching practice. If you want to take up the offer of an experienced peer(s), register your interest on VYGO (link to follow), and explore the profiles put forward by experienced colleagues.

What can be observed?

This peer observation goes beyond the typical classroom observations and can include:


  • Engaging teaching in lectures or seminars (f2f and online)
  • Teaching in a lab
  • Inclusive teaching practice
  • Difficult situations (e.g. motivating students)
  • Marking
  • Chairing an Examination Board or academic meeting


  • Use of the ECO-SYSTEM (can choose between for example using AULA, Engageli. Mentimeter, etc. effectively)


  • Developing students’ assessment literacy – how to?
  • Feedback and feed-forward practices – how to?
  • Moving to more authentic assessment – how to?
  • Moving to more inclusive assessment – how to?
  • Addressing plagiarism / contract cheating

What are the benefits of peer observation?

Engaging in peer observation has benefits for both the observer and the person observed and allows for:

  • Rich conversations around our teaching, learning and assessment practices
  • Sharing good practice including a range of different approaches
  • Getting honest feedback in a safe and collegial environment
  • Practicing for a Management Led Teaching Observation
  • Prepare for your Senior Fellowship application (SFHEA)

However, there is the potential for both observer and person being observed to gain much more than the above.  For example:

How does peer observations work?

The VYGO platform will facilitate the interaction between observer and person being observed.  On VYGO, participating colleagues will introduce their area of good practice (expertise) related to the different areas mentioned above.  People wishing to observe or be observed, can then make contact with an experienced peer based on the area of their practice they wish to enhance and get friendly peer feedback and guidance similar to a mentor-mentee relationship.

Engaging in peer observation should ideally include 3 stages, optionally supported by forms and templates to capture needs and learning:

  • Before the observation
    Choose an area of interest, this can be within your discipline or expertise different to your discipline as this help to focus on the pedagogy, rather than the disciplinary context.  Identify development needs and have a discussion about this with the experienced peer you wish to observe (or be observed by). Agree mutual expectations in advance of the observation to avoid disappointment on both sides.
  • During the observation
    Take into account, what exactly will be observed, see different options mentioned earlier.  Completing the forms and or templates may help steer the conversation.
  • After the observation
    Make time to debrief and clarify learning, create an action plan for next steps to take in enhancing your practice.  Consider returning to the outcome of this peer observation to see how this may have impacted your practice, 6 months of 12 months later.