UCSF Academy of Medical Educators Teaching Observation Program (TOP) Mentor Training Module

Resource ID Posted Format
672 April 9, 2013 Evaluation Tool, Multimedia
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine


The UCSF Academy of Medical Educators developed the Teaching Observation Program (TOP) to provide peer mentorship for faculty through observation of teaching and supportive feedback. TOP mentors have traditionally been trained in a workshop that combines observation of teaching videos, feedback role-play, and discussion of best practices for effective feedback. We have now developed an efficient, web-based method of training TOP Mentors. We developed the training module using the principles of “blended learning”, which combine the benefits of live interactions with the flexibility and efficiency of web-based technologies to provide an optimal learning experience.

The module benefits both novices seeking to learn basic feedback skills as well as experienced mentors seeking to hone their skills or practice with a different teaching setting. While we recommend using the module in its entirety, you should feel free to adapt it to the needs of your own institution. The live interactions require TOP Module Coaches, who are familiar with the training module and experienced in providing peer feedback. We recommend using this module to first train a group of mentors who can serve as Module Coaches for future TOP Mentors.

The module includes self-assessments and reflection exercises in addition to videos of teaching sessions and associated feedback sessions. Standardized feedback forms are included to allow for practice of formulating appropriate feedback.

The videos cover four different teaching settings so users of the module can select the setting that most closely resembles the type of teaching they will be observing: 1) large classroom lecture, 2) pre-clerkship small group discussion, 3) clinical chalk-talk, and 4) clinical morning rounds.

The final step of the training is a live debrief with a Module Coach.

Note:  To access the full resource you may need to download resource files and access an external website.


Goals for this innovative training module:

  1. Include flexibility in time and location of training.
  2. Maximize efficiency in time and resources.
  3. Accommodate diverse teaching settings.
  4. Provide current examples of teaching.
  5. Accommodate different users.
  6. Provide accountability and feedback.
  7. Promote community building.
  8. Create an interactive and enjoyable experience.
  9. Facilitate development of peer mentorship programs, similar to UCSF's Teaching Observation Program, at other institutions.

Objectives for users of training module:

  1. Describe the elements of effective feedback.
  2. Describe the TOP (Teaching Observation Program) process of preparation, evaluation and feedback.
  3. Evaluate a teaching session and compose feedback for the instructor.
  4. Effectively deliver feedback to a faculty member.


  • Blended Learning, Feedback, Peer Mentorship, Teaching


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Personal & Professional Development
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement
  • Professionalism

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • Health Education
  • Instructional Materials/Methods
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching Skills
  • Technology

Instructional Methods

  • Assessment
  • Independent Learning
  • Tutorial
  • Workshop

Intended Audience

  • Practicing Health Professional
    • Physician
  • Professional & Faculty Development
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Fellow
    • Resident

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