Teachers Observing Peers Program


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


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.

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. 

  • Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm, Woodward 125

Request a time to visit Celine Latulipe's class

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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 1210: Earth History 
Earth History is second course of the introductory sequence of courses for Geology majors and also part of the University General Education Curriculum, satisfying the Natural Sciences requirement. Students learn the history of our planet focusing on interactions between Earth's biologic, geologic, and climatic systems. We apply the processes students learned in the first course of this sequence to understand and explain important events in Earth's past. The course uses Team-Based Learning and involves daily in class assignments/activities and a semester-long team project.
  • Tuesday & Thursday 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm, Kennedy 234

GEOL 1200: Physical Geology 
Physical Geology is the first course in the introductory sequence for Geology majors and part of the University General Education Curriculum, satisfying the Natural Sciences requirement. Emphasis is placed on understanding the physical processes that shape the Earth. The course uses light-weight teams that change periodically throughout the semester, and involves daily in class assignments and classroom response questions.

  • Tuesday & Thursday 8:00 am - 9:15 am, Kennedy 236 

Request a time to visit William Garcia's class

Image of Tonya Bates

Tonya Bates 
Senior Lecturer, Biology


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.”

Biology 1115 is the second 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: 75 students; non-biology majors
  • Tuesday & Thursday 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm, Woodward 155

Request a time to visit Tonya Bates' class

Image of Pilar Zuber

Pilar Zuber 
Lecturer & BSPH Program Director,  Public Health Sciences


This class meets the General Education requirement for Culture and Society. This course focuses on the measures of health and quality of life, including the organization of health care systems, cultural and social determinants of health, and ethical issues related to health and health care.

The course is taught in a hybrid large-lecture, small group breakout session format.  Students are exposed to the major concepts at the beginning of the semester, then apply those concepts to a variety of health topics, "practicing" critical thinking skills throughout the rest of the semester.
  • Monday & Wednesday 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Request a time to visit Pilar Zuber's class

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


Susan B. Harden is an Assistant Professor of Education at UNC Charlotte and the Director for the Civic Minor in Urban Youth and Communities and the Charlotte Community Scholars undergraduate research program. Susan's teaching, research, and service expertise is in understanding community engagement at cultural institutions and developing engaged scholarship in higher education.  Susan is also passionate about teaching first-year students using active learning and experiential pedagogy.

The goal of the capstone is to provide students with experiential learning course that draws together the theory and practice accumulated during the Civic Minor in Urban Youth and Communities program with a deep community-based or school-based action research project. In this class, students will learn how to carry out an authentic, high quality research project that meets a community need. In this project, the students will grow and demonstrate their knowledge of issues in urban youth and education, communities, and social justice. Students will explore the complexities of urban schools and neighborhoods, the capabilities of urban children, and the diverse resources and assets of urban neighborhoods including public policy considerations. Students will learn successful models of university and community partnership and how these models can strengthen connections between schools and communities and build civic participation.

  • Tuesday & Thursday 11: 00 am - 12:15 pm, Denny 206
  • Thursday 5:00 pm - 7:45 pm, Denny 215

Request a time to visit Susan Harden's class

Image of Praveen Ramaprabhu

Praveen Ramaprabhu 
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Sciences


Dr. 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. 

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.

  • Monday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, Duke 323
  • Wednesday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, EPIC 1249

Request a time to visit Praveen Ramaprabhu's class