Observation & Feedback

Teacher leader uses observation and feedback to improve teachers practice.
Made by Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Learning at USD
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Teacher leader systematically observes teachers and offers feedback to observed teacher with the intent of improving their practice.

Method Components

Observation Components

Lead teachers on learning walks. Ensure teachers are aware of and committed to the purpose of the walk. (See resources below for additional guidance.)

Suggested feedback strategies:

Be mindful of the way you present feedback to teachers.

  • Use positive, open body language.
  • Give space for the teacher to reflect on their own practice before offering your thoughts. Ask clarifying or probing questions, if needed. Paraphrase their thinking. Encourage reflection through open-ended questions, like:
    • Did things go as planned? Why or why not?
    • If you had to do it all over again, what might you do the same and differently?
    • What did you learn from this process?
  • Offer warm and cool feedback (positive and constructive).
  • Provide a manageable chunk of feedback—do not overload the teacher with too many or too big action items.
  • Offer some suggestions and resources for how the teacher can improve.
  • Ensure there are concrete next steps and structured opportunities to follow up.

Best practices for offering feedback

  • Think of feedback as a two-way street. Your feedback to the teacher is equally important as teachers’ feedback to you. This helps build the relationship.
  • Offer professional learning aligned to the needs of your teachers. Learn this through teacher feedback.
    (For additional feedback best practices, see “The Power of Feedback” in the research section.)

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

This study explored teachers’ perceptions about the support for professional development available to them, the perceived potential benefits of a learner-centered teacher evaluation system to enhance their professional growth, and pitfalls. Findings of the study suggest that teachers receive support from both campus level and central office level. Teachers also believe that a learner-centered teacher evaluation fosters walk-through observations, opportunities for professional growth, feedback, learner-centered dialogue, a holistic perspective, and teacher self-evaluation.

  • McKimm, J. (2010). Giving effective feedback. Clinical teaching made easy: A practical guide to teaching and learning in clinical settings, 41-50.

Feedback is a vital part of education. If carried out well, feedback helps motivate and develop learners’ knowledge, skills, and behaviors. It helps learners to maximize their potential and professional development at different stages of training, raise their awareness of strengths and areas for improvement, and identify actions to be taken to improve performance.

Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement, but this impact can be either positive or negative. Evidence shows that although feedback is among the major influences, the type of feedback and the way it is given can be differentially effective. A model of feedback is then proposed, which centers on three questions:

  1. Where am I going?
  2. How am I going?
  3. Where to next?
    For more information, visit: http://www.columbia.edu/~mvp19/ETF/Feedback.pdf


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview question

(300-word limit)

  • Please describe the context in which you observed the teacher, noting the type of feedback you provided and why (this description should align with what you learned about giving feedback, i.e., warm and cool, coaching strategies, etc.).

Part 2. Work examples/artifacts

Please submit several artifacts that were created while observing and providing feedback to teachers (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, or other products) including such items as:

  • Meeting agenda with next steps
  • Reflection from the teacher of how they will incorporate feedback into future lessons
  • Video clip of the meeting
  • Annotated photos of the meeting

Part 3. Reflection

(300-word limit)

Provide a reflection on your experience, using the following questions as guidance:

  • How does your ability to observe and provide feedback to teachers ultimately affect students?
  • Moving forward, how might your practice change as a result of what you have learned?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Observation & Feedback
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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