Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP)

Developed by Matthew T. Hora and Joseph J. Ferrare

To document teaching practice, support professional development, evaluate effects of instructional interventions and specify teaching practices that distinguish between control & experimental conditions.
Format Observation protocol
Duration N/A min
Focus Teaching
Level Graduate, Upper-level, Intermediate, Intro college, High school, Middle school, Other

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Example TDOP codes:


TDOP Implementation Guide

Everything you need to know about implementing the TDOP in your class.

External Resources

The developers of the TDOP have created an in-depth user guide with many important instructions and details for using the TDOP. 


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Gold Star Validation
This is the highest level of research validation, corresponding to all seven of the validation categories below.

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • Classroom behavior

Studied Using:

  • Iterative observations
  • Inter-rater reliability
  • Training materials

Research Conducted:

  • At multiple institutions
  • By multiple research groups
  • Peer-reviewed publication

The codes and categories on the TDOP were developed based on an instrument designed to study inquiry-based middle school sciences courses. The developers then identified five key aspects of classroom dynamics and adapted codes from these categories from the original instrument. The codes were tested in classrooms and underwent expert review. The developers created a rigorous training program, which was completed by 56 raters from several disciplines. The raters completed iterative observations where they observed classes across 4 disciplines, calculated inter-rater reliability, and completed more observations until sufficient inter-rater reliability was achieved. There are over 8 peer-reviewed publications about the TDOP. 


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Typical Results

Results from the TDOP are only a measure of what is happening in the classroom and not a rating of it.  Instructors can use the results in combination with something like the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) to see both a rating of your instruction and what exactly you are doing during class to help you improve.  Also, many of the items on the TDOP are representative of practices that are known to generally be "better" or "worse" methods so the time spent on these items as shown in the TDOP results could show room for improvement. 

The latest version of the TDOP, released in 2015, is version 2.1. Version 1.0 was developed in 2009 and version 2.0 was released in 2014.