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QAA launches collaborative observation guide

Date: July 9 - 2024

QAA has published a guide to Enhancing Learning and Teaching Quality through a Cycle of Collaborative Observation.

This new guide has been produced through a QAA-funded Collaborative Enhancement Project led by Professor Matt O’Leary and Dr Vanessa Cui at Birmingham City University, with Dr Victoria Wright from Loughborough University and Dr Jenni Jones and Julie Hughes from the University of Wolverhampton.

Based upon the premise that improving the student learning experience should start with improving the teacher learning experience, the project has involved the implementation and evaluation of an innovative collaborative observation model, including groups of students and teaching staff from various disciplines in observing and reflecting on the quality of their learning and teaching.

This new publication presents guidance to colleagues who will train student and staff participants in the collaborative observation method developed by the project. The guide is accompanied by a set of training resources and the first in a series of video case studies providing insights into the experiences and practices of students and staff who have participated.

‘This has been an incredibly rewarding project. Participating in these cycles of collaborative observation has enabled both staff and students to develop an authentic collaboration with learning and teaching at the heart of it.’ Professor O’Leary commented. ‘In the words of some of our participants, it has been a unique learning opportunity that has provided real evidence that they can use to inform and enhance their learning and teaching experiences.’

‘One of the significant outcomes from this project that staff have repeatedly highlighted has been the value of creating a collaborative space for staff and students to share perspectives on learning and teaching which can feed into action planning for implementation into subsequent sessions.’ added Dr Wright.

Dr Jones concluded: 'Students involved in both cycles shared how they had built confidence talking to tutors, felt comfortable to share teaching insights with tutors about how to do things differently in their classroom and also have a better understanding of what is involved in teaching. We are now looking at ways we can scale this up into all courses and schools - watch this space!’

You can find out about all QAA-funded Collaborative Enhancement Projects on our website. We have supported 66 projects directly involving over 146 providers and partners since launching the scheme in 2020. The projects are funded from QAA Membership and provide a wealth of insights and practical resources.