This small-scale case study examines the use of remote lesson observations and lesson feedback in the Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) course at a university in the North of Scotland. Successful completion of the course by lecturers working in Colleges of Further Education enables them to register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which is a requirement.
The remote observations were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was impossible to undertake face-to-face visits. In the main, these comprised joining synchronous online sessions or watching asynchronous recordings. Feedback discussions took place online at a mutually convenient time.
Data collection tools comprised a questionnaire and focus groups with university tutors and college co-tutors. Data was analysed using a thematic coding approach and discussed in terms of benefits and drawbacks. Drawbacks included an inability to ‘get a feel’ for learning, see learners’ reactions and also make informal connections in the institution. Benefits included efficiencies in terms of travel time and cost and the ability to schedule flexibly, as well as a perceived increased openness, honesty and depth of reflection in the post-lesson discussion. Suggestions are made for consideration of possible hybrid models for future observations and discussions.