Session title: Transformational lesson observation

Helping observers judge impact rather than audit content

Typical inspection issues

  • The objectives set for staff do not link clearly enough to a measurable impact on learners. Too often, they are suggested tasks to complete or compliance actions.
  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment for students on study programmes is not yet good.


Full- or half-day session.

Information for event organisers

The effectiveness of a lesson observation system should be judged by just one indicator: the extent to which it has improved the impact of teaching on the quality of learning. All too often, however, there are significant underlying issues that prevent providers from reaping the rewards of their investment in observation. One perennial issue is the simple judging of observable trends in the profile of lesson observation grades – data which, when challenged, most managers agree is fundamentally flawed. The second arguably more pervasive issue is when observers judge the effectiveness of a lesson based on how what the teacher and learners do matches their own ideas of what should be done. This corrosive observation practice can fundamentally undermine and damage a provider’s teaching team. So how do you judge the impact of a lesson observation system? Or perhaps more importantly, how clearly have you articulated the impact you intend your system to have, and to what extent are you achieving your goal?

In this session, delegates go back to first base and careful define the components of their observation system and the precise impact they want it to have. They create a rubric for an outstanding lesson that enables observers to articulate the impact a teacher has on learning, rather than simply an audit of teacher and learner activities. Delegates then consider how best to structure an evaluation conversation to produce the impacts required. The session includes observation practice (tailored to either colleges or work-based), a writing critique, and an examination of model observation text.

Every system has an impact. Do you know the impact your system is having? Is it the impact you want?

Publicity information for potential delegates

Observing other teachers at work is a privilege, but all too often observers are regarded publicly or privately as judge and jury. For many teachers, observations are at best to be tolerated and at worst feared, but what is it about some systems that promotes these feelings, and are they indicators that the system may not be achieving its objectives?

In this session, we will examine each step of the observation system then define exactly what it is we want the process to achieve. We’ll look at the criteria for evaluating an outstanding lesson and then consider any implications this might have for your own observation system. For many providers it is the system itself that denies the impact they seek. Is your system fit for purpose?

This session will enable delegates to:

  • set out the components of an effective observation system
  • define the intended impact of an observation system
  • produce a rubric with which to judge a lesson
  • use the ‘rubric for an outstanding lesson’ to judge the quality of teaching and learning
  • write impact-focused observation text
  • run a transformational evaluative conversation with an observee.

What the delegates say

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These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


Full- or half-day session.


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.