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


Image of Double Entry Narrative Observation Form (Online) Image of Guided Observation Form (Online)
Double Entry Narrative Observation Form (Online) Guided Observation Form (Online)

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 Available Classes to identify a course/instructor that you are interested in observing.
  2. Select a class/debriefing session that you're interested in and click on the Peer Observation Request Form link.
  3. Enter your NinerNET username and click Start.
  4. Select your department from the dropdown menu.
  5. Select the instructor and course you would like to observe.
  6. Add in any additional information you may have, then click Request Observation.
  7. On the day of the classroom observation, show up early and bring an observation form for use during the class session.
  8. 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.
  9. At the end of the semester, you may be requested to provide feedback about your experience.

Due to high request volume, you may be obliged to share an observation time with other observers.

After reviewing the Available Classes below, please complete the Peer Observation Request Form.

Spring 2020 Available Classes

Image of Dean Adams

Dean Adams 
Associate Dean, Performing Arts


This completely online course is an introduction to the history of musical theatre, which surveys the major shows in musical theater literature, through the study of plots, scores, characters, and songs of the shows. Students explore the genre’s place and function in theater history as both an art form and popular entertainment and its influence on culture in general. The course culminates in student presentations on a focused research question related to musical theatre.

  • This is an online course. You will receive a course invitation email to add yourself to the Canvas course. You will have two weeks from request to view the course, then follow up with a debrief. 
  • Tags: Quality Matters

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Kelly Powers 
Assistant Professor, Nursing


Students from the MSN program tracks of nursing education, nursing administration, and community health nursing enroll in this course, which is taught 100% online. It focuses on planning, evaluating, and improving health programs. Includes steps in problem analysis and needs assessment, logistics of program management and implementation, evaluation, quality improvement within systems and community oriented advanced nursing practice. An ongoing case study is utilized to assist student teams to assess a community’s health needs, plan a program to improve health outcomes, and write a proposal to gain funding for implementation of their program.

  • This is an online course. You will receive a course invitation email to add yourself to the Canvas course. You will have two weeks from request to view the course, then follow up with a debrief. 
  • Tags: Quality Matters

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Spencer Salas
Professor, Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education


This Quality Matters certified graduate-level course is 100% online and 086 includes a blend of asynchronous and synchronous interactions leveraging Canvas and WebEx. Structured as a book club focused on the dynamics of immigration and schools, the course is divided into five modules with each including a required shared book length qualitative study and supplemented by optional resources and an asynchronous small group forum. For section 086, each module concludes with a synchronous WebEx lecture (Saturdays 9:30-10:30) and panel discussion. Spring 2020 Saturday sessions are scheduled for 25 January, 15 February, 14 March, and 4 April.

  • This is an online course. You will receive a course invitation email to add yourself to the Canvas course. You will have two weeks from request to view the course, then follow up with a debrief. 
  • Tags: Quality Matters, Online

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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 face-to-face 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.    

  • Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 am - 9:45 am, CHHS 155
  • Tags: STEM, Active Learning


This class is a requirement for all Pre-Public Health Majors and Public Health Minors. This course is an introduction to the field of public health, including its history, content areas, scope, and paradigms of professional practice.The course is taught face-to-face large-enrollment format.  Course material is focused on the understanding and application of the breadth of the field of public health. 75-minute class meetings combine mini-lectures with active learning strategies.

  • Monday & Wednesday 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm, CHHS 376
  • Tags: STEM, Active Learning

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Jeanne-Marie Linker
Lecturer, Mathematics and Statistics


This class is a non-calculus based introduction to data summarization, discrete and continuous random variables, sampling, central limit theorem, estimation, testing hypotheses, and linear regression. Applications of theory will be drawn from areas related to social and behavioral sciences.

  • Tuesday & Thursday 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm, Portal 129
  • Tags: STEM, Large Class, Active Learning, Adaptive Software, Group Activities

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Sayde J. Brais
Lecturer, Communication Studies


Examination of methods for systematic investigation of communication behavior in all primary communication contexts, including utilization of library materials and quantitative and qualitative techniques for data analysis.

  • Monday, Wednseday, & Friday - 9:05 am - 9:55 am, Colvard 5090
  • Monday, Wednesday, & Friday - 10:10 am - 11:00 am, Denny 215
  • Tags: Active Learning, Group Activities

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Harini Ramaprasad
Teaching Associate Professor 
Department of Computer Science


ntroduces the fundamentals of operating systems together with the basics of networking and communications. Topics include: processes, threads, scheduling, cache, memory management, file systems, interprocess communication, network architecture and protocols, HTTP, MAC, IP, TCP/UDP, internet routing.

  • Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 1:25 pm - 2:15 pm, CARC 171
  • Tags: STEM, Active Learning

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Bobby Hobgood
Director, Language Resource Center
Department of Languages and Culture Studies


This course is the second half of a two-part sequence. FREN 1202 continues to introduce “everyday” French at a basic level to help you develop the necessary skills to express yourself in common situations. In order to communicate effectively, you will: learn the sound system of the language, acquire a basic vocabulary, master some basic grammar structures, develop intercultural skills, and practice speaking on a daily basis.

  • Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 am - 9:45 am, COED 434 (Language Resource Center Main Classroom)
  • Tags: Active Learning, Group Activities


An examination of the current research on adult learning and development, expert knowledge, and the professionalization of the field of teaching. Students develop skills to direct other educational professionals.

  • Monday 5:00 pm - 7:45 pm, COED 434 (Language Resource Center Main Classroom)
  • Tags: Active Learning, Group Activities

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Donna Sacco
Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education & Child Development


This course provides preservice teachers in both general and special education with an introduction to learners with disabilities as well as those with academic gifts. This required teacher education course assists future teachers in understanding the nature of disabilities and special gifts, their impact on learning and other life outcomes, and appropriate educational programming. As an increasing number of learners with special needs are served in the general education classroom, all teachers have a responsibility to provide effective educational programs for all students. This course, taught as a co-requisite with EDUC 2100 -- An Introduction to Education and Diversity in Schools, contributes to preservice teachers’ understanding of who the learners are in America’s schools. This early work sets the stage for more advanced work in curriculum and instructional methodology.

  • Tuesday & Thursday - 11:30 am - 12:45 pm, PORTAL 129
  • Tags: Active Learning, Group Activities, Large Class

This introductory course addresses strategies for the development, implementation, and monitoring of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and related instructional planning for P-12 students with disabilities within the general curriculum (high incidence disabilities) or adapted curriculum (low incidence disabilities). Through this course, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in using the general education curriculum to develop appropriate IEPs and lesson plans for instruction

  • Wednesday 4:00 pm - 6:45 pm, Atkins Library Room 222 (T3 Lab)
  • Tags:  Active Learning, Group Activities

Bill Garcia
The origin and evolution of the earth's major features: the beginnings and changes of the earth's continents, atmosphere, oceans, and life forms, set in the vast context of geologic time.
  • Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 am - 9:45 am, McEniry 127
  • Tags: STEM, Active Learning

Life on Earth has been affected by numerous speciation and extinction events that have dramatic impacts on Earth’s biota. Extinction takes on many forms and potential causes. This course explores extinction events throughout Earth’s history, focusing on their processes and causes, as well as examining how scientists test extinction hypotheses. 

  • Tuesday & Thursday 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm, McEniry 401
  • Tags: STEM, Active Learning