1st Edition

Developing Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education through Observation

By Matt O'Leary, Vanessa Cui Copyright 2023
    234 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Offering interdisciplinary, evidence-informed discussion and practical resources for using observation as a tool of educational inquiry to enhance understanding and the quality of teaching and learning in higher education, this book draws on forward-thinking, contemporary research.

    Illustrated with real examples and case studies of collaborative observation from a range of subject areas, it provides a conceptual and practical guide for harnessing observation to better understand the relationship between teaching and learning.

    This is a must-read book for all those interested and involved in using observation to understand, develop and improve the quality of teaching and learning in higher education.


    Cover page

    List of illustrations


    Chapter 1 – Introduction

    Chapter 2 – Contextualising the importance of teaching and learning in higher education

    Chapter 3 – Understanding teaching and learning in higher education

    Chapter 4 – Developing a scholarly approach to higher education teaching and learning

    Chapter 5 – A review of the role of observation in teaching and learning

    Chapter 6 – Designing and implementing a collegial peer observation scheme

    Chapter 7 – Developing observation and coaching skills

    Chapter 8 – Collaborative observation between students and staff as a catalyst for meaningful improvement

    Chapter 9 – Unseen observation: an alternative approach to thinking about academics’ professional learning

    Chapter 10 – Concluding comments




    Matt O’Leary is Professor of Education and Director of CSPACE Education Research Centre at Birmingham City University, UK. He is internationally renowned for his extensive body of work on the use of observation in understanding and improving teaching and learning across education sectors.

    Vanessa Cui is a Senior Research Fellow at Birmingham City University CSPACE Education Research Centre. Her research focuses on higher education learning and teaching policy and practices, with a special interest in the students’ involvement in quality development activities and staff and student collaborations in learning and teaching.