Teaching Observation Program (TOP)

The Five Steps for participation in the Teaching Observation program

The Teaching Observation Program (TOP) is for faculty to find a peer who can give them feedback on their teaching in a safe, supportive environment. The philosophy of TOP is to focus on what an individual identifies as a need in their teaching. TOP observers are trained to observe and provide feedback on a large group, small group, clinical and surgical teaching.

    How the Teaching Observation Program (TOP) Works

    There are 5 steps in this participant-driven approach:

    1. Initiate a request, via the TOP request online form, to participate in teaching observation and feedback. Receive the link to the TOP Portal. NOTE: This step is optional.
    2. Select from a list of trained observers on the TOP Portal. Make contact to arrange a pre-meeting to clarify needs and expectations, and schedule the observation. Optional: Contact any peer for an ad hoc observation following the same process using Resources for TOP Observations.
    3. Participate in the observation.
    4. Receive written comments about your specified needs in a separately scheduled feedback session. Comments are completely confidential.
    5. Request confirmation letter - you can add a confirmation letter to your ADVANCE Educator's Portfolio or CV, with the option to send copies to your education leadership (e.g. department chair). No feedback is included in the letter.

    TOP Glossary

    • TOP Participant: The UCSF or UCSF-affiliated faculty member who requests an observation.
    • TOP Trained: A faculty member who has participated in an in-person or online workshop on peer observation and feedback provided by UCSF.
    • TOP Observer: A faculty member who is TOP trained and who has observed and provided feedback to a faculty member in an actual teaching situation and also has been observed and received feedback on their teaching.
    • TOP Advisor: A TOP Observer who has extensively practiced observation and feedback skills, and has been observed giving TOP feedback. These advisors, upon request, provide advice to TOP observers in preparation for observation and feedback.