Teachers Observing Peers Program

INTRODUCTION

The Teachers Observing Peers (TOP) program provides UNC Charlotte faculty members with an opportunity to observe peers representing a variety of disciplines implementing interactive methods in a live classroom setting. Whether you are an instructor who has been using interactive methods for years or are trying to get ready to teach your first class, you are likely to benefit from the classroom observation by getting new ideas for effective practice and reflecting on your own practice. 

Key Understandings and Principles of TOP

Classroom observations undertaken as part of the Teachers Observing Peers Program are entirely voluntary and for professional development purposes only. The observation of a class and debriefing session you choose to participate in has no connection to the peer observation processes required by Colleges for the Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (RPT) of faculty.

Observe with an open mind. Most of the TOP Teachers have been using interactive methods for several years in ways that work for them.  You may leave a class observation with very different ideas about how you would use and implement a particular activity or technique in your own course.  During the debriefing session, there will be the opportunity to discuss and reflect on if and how you might implement both general principles and specific strategies observed into your own practice.

Go with an observation form. We suggest you print out at least one of the peer observation forms designed to facilitate and guide your data collection during the observation. You can use them to take notes and prepare comments and questions for the debriefing session. 

Class Observation - Student Engagement Map Double Entry Narrative Form
Student Engagement Map Observation Form Double Entry Narrative Observation Form Time Based Peer Observation Form

Plan for the debriefing session. When you select a date and time to observe a specific faculty member’s classroom, you also need to plan to stay for the debriefing session that follows the class.  The opportunity to discuss with colleagues about the teaching and learning observed during the session is critical to the potential professional growth of the experience.

TOP Procedures

If you are interested in participating in TOP, follow the procedures below:

  1. Review the list of Classes Available to Visit to identify a course/instructor that you are interested in observing.
  2. Select a class/debriefing session that fits your schedule and click on the appropriate link in the chart to sign up to visit at that time.
  3. On the day of the classroom observation, show up early and bring an observation form for use during the class session.
  4. Engage in the debriefing session following the class by asking clarifying questions and sharing reflective thoughts and comments on the class session when appropriate.  The debriefing session will be facilitated by the TOP Teacher and will be conducted in a climate appropriate to a community of learners.
  5. After the observation, complete a feedback form of your experiences with the procedures of the TOP Program.  

Classes Available to Visit

Image of Celine Latulipe

Celine Latulipe
Associate Professor, Software and Information Systems

ITSC 2214: DATA STRUCTURES & ALGORITHMS 

Dr. Celine Latulipe teaches and engages in research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Science Education at UNC Charlotte. Her research involves developing and evaluating novel interaction techniques, creativity support tools, technologies to support the arts and innovative curriculum and pedagogy for Computer Science.  She regularly attends the ACM CHI, UIST, SIGCSE and C&C conferences. Beyond technology, education and art, she is also interested in politics, gender issues, philosophy, behavioral economics, neuroscience, psychology and sociology.

Dr. Latulipe received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in 2006. She has a Master of Mathematics in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Economics and Applied Studies, both from Waterloo.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  
This is a required sophomore class in programming. Students are learning about different data structures such as lists, trees, stacks and graphs, as well as the algorithms used with these structures. There is both a theoretical aspect as well the programming skills aspect. This is taught as a fully flipped, active learning class. 

  • Fridays 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Kennedy 236

Request a time to visit Celine Latulipe's class

Image of William Garcia

William Garcia
Lecturer, Geography and Earth Sciences

William Garcia is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Earth Science. He uses lecture, whole class discussion, and small-room breakout sessions as well as informal group work using think-pair- share and a classroom response system. His teaching philosophy is to divide the course into two weekly lectures and smaller discussion or break-out sections. "In lecture we use a variety of methods to increase student engagement with the course material and each other. This engagement is designed to increase student understanding of foundational content and vocabulary, and to provide simple understanding of concepts and how different concepts relate to one another. Within the smaller break-out sessions students participate in small-group work designed to provide a more detailed and intricate examination of the relationships between concepts."

GEOL 1200: PHYSICAL GEOLOGY

Physical geology is the study of the various processes that shape the Earth, as well as the formation and structure of our planet. Many of these process involve complex, interacting systems that have dramatic affects upon our daily lives. There are five course goals associated with these concepts.

  • Tuesday & Thursday 2:00 - 3:15 pm, Kennedy 236

GEOL 1210: EARTH HISTORY

Historical geology is the study of the evolution of the Earth and its systems through time. Much of this evolution involves complex, interacting systems that have dramatically impacted the Earth. By the end of the course students should have a basic understanding of the geological, biological, and climatological history of our planet and understand the interactions between these systems over time. Perhaps the most important concept to be gleaned from this course is an understanding of the scope of Geologic Time and a proper appreciation for the scale of time during which the Earth's events have occurred. After completing this course students will know when major events in Earth history occurred and understand the geological, biological, and climatological context in which they occurred. There are six specific course goals associated with these concepts.

  • Mondays & Wednesdays 2:00 - 3:15 pm, Kennedy 234

Request a time to visit William Garcia's class

Image of Tonya Bates

Tonya Bates 
Senior Lecturer, Biology

BIOL 1110: PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY I

Tonya Bates is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biology. She uses instructional methods such as informal group work in a think-pair-share format, classroom response system, problem solving, and case studies. Her teaching philosophy is, "...to make my class more student centered, as pedagogical evidence indicates that students learn better with this approach, and they also retain the information for a longer period of time. They cooperatively solved problems, analyzed case studies, engaged in discussions, and developed graphic organizers. These low stakes formative assessments could signify to a student that they may need to review a topic or it would give them the opportunity to ask me or a peer for help.”

Course Description
Biology 1110 is the first of a two-semester introduction to Biology for non-science majors.  Since these courses are especially designed for non-majors, students are provided with a broad overview of basic biology with emphasis on application to their everyday life. My personal goal is to help my students understand foundations in biology so they can relate to current events in biology and make informed, intelligent decisions.

  • Enrollment: 175 students; non-biology majors
  • Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 - 10:45 am, Woodward 106

Request a time to visit Tonya Bates' class

Image of Praveen Ramaprabhu

Praveen Ramaprabhu 
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Sciences

MEGR 2240: COMPUTATIONAL METHODS FOR ENGINEERS

Praveen Ramaprabhu is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Sciences at UNC Charlotte, where he heads the Laboratory for Multiscale Computational Fluid Dynamics (LMCFD). Starting with his Ph.D. research at Texas A&M University, Praveen has worked extensively using experiments and careful numerical simulations to advance the understanding of turbulent mixing due to fluid instabilities. Praveen is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering. As a CTL faculty fellow, Praveen is interested in Adaptive Learning, Active Learning, and new faculty mentoring, and will champion initiatives in these areas. and understanding.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  
Automated engineering analysis and synthesis techniques based on software engineering principles. Overview of data representation and computing languages. Program development using programming languages and off-the shelf software packages. Study of numerical methods, potential errors, and computational stability. emphasis on effective design, testing, and debugging practices.

  • Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 am - 10:45 am, Duke Centennial Hall 259

Request a time to visit Praveen Ramaprabhu's class

Image of Susan Harden

Susan Harden 
Assistant Professor, Middle Secondary and K-12 Education

CUCY 3600: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CAPSTONE

Susan Harden is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education. She also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Minor in Urban Youth and Communities in the College of Education. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  
The purpose of this course is to provide a culminating and comprehensive experience for students in the Civic Minor in Urban Youth and Communities.  In this course, students will synthesize the interdisciplinary theory and experiential learning around urban youth and education, communities, and social justice into a comprehensive community or school based project lead by the student using practices of participatory action research. This course is SL designated​.

  • Mondays 9:30 am - 12:15 pm, Fretwell 305
  • Tuesdays 5:00 - 7:45 pm, Macy 206

Request a time to visit Susan Harden's class