Observation of Practice

For all categories of Fellowship you must select one of your referees to observe your practice. This only needs to happen once but your referee will need to verify that this observation has taken place. The primary intention here is to provide extra validation evidence for the referee should they wish to use it and to provide an extra layer of reassurance to the Reviewers.

The choice of observation event is up to you but should be of your teaching or teaching-related activity.

  • At D1 this might be a straightforward teaching practice observation but, depending on what your role is, a staff training event, one-to-one student guidance or PhD supervision tutorials, might be more appropriate, for example.
  • At D2 we would normally anticipate the observation to be of classroom teaching but other teaching situations are also acceptable
  • At D3 observation of teaching to evidence depth of experience is fine, but your role might mean that classroom teaching activities are more limited. If wanting to demonstrate leadership, it might be more relevant to be observed chairing a L&T related committee meeting, for example.

The observation is designed as a supportive peer review process without any formal requirement for feedback or recording of outcomes to the TALENT scheme, your line manager or in your appraisal documentation. Referee’s may choose to refer to it in their referee’s statement, if appropriate and relevant, however. You might also want to think of it simultaneously, as a way of fulfilling the requirement for annual PRE observation (although it’s worth noting that being observed chairing a committee meeting or similar would not achieve this).

It is worth emphasising during these current circumstances (COVID-19) that observation of practice delivered through online means is perfectly reasonable and acceptable at any time. The same teaching scenarios outlined above might equally be delivered online whether asynchronously (delivery by teaching staff and engagement by students takes place at different times according to convenience) or synchronously (as ‘live’). Clearly, when asynchronous methods are used, the observation will need to include all elements of the methods employed (including how discussion boards are managed, for example) and when synchronous methods are used, the observer should be shadowing and present in the environment being employed (BBCollab or Zoom, for example). If you are unsure about what constitutes an observation of online remote teaching practice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at talent@shu.ac.uk

Remember, the choice of referee is up to you and the choice of session is also yours to decide. The only condition is that your chosen referee must hold a category of fellowship that is at least at the level you are applying for.