Classroom observation can be scheduled as part of the individual consultation process or in order to provide documentation that might be used for applications for teaching awards, tenure, etc.
How does individual classroom observation work?
Pre-observation meeting: Prior to the observation, you will schedule a meeting with the consultant who will be observing your class. The purpose of this meeting is to create a context for the consultant regarding your instruction style, goals and experience, students, typical class activities, departmental requirements, etc. You might also identify specific concerns you would like the consultant to focus on while observing your class. You may be asked to bring materials such as your syllabus, text, exams, and/or past student evaluations to help the consultant better understand your objectives.
Prior to the meeting we would like you to complete the pre-observation form (.docx). Reflecting on these questions prior to the meeting should help you focus on your goals for the observation, and your answers will help us develop an understanding of you and the context for the observation.
Classroom observation: While observing your class, the consultant will take descriptive notes on what is said and done in the class. Teacher-student interaction, student-to-student interaction, and student behavior will be noted so that the consultation can focus on the specifics of the class. In addition to the narrative account of what happened, the consultant may also use a checklist of teaching skills. If desired, the classroom session can also be recorded.
Post-observation meeting: After the observation, you will meet one-to-one with the consultant to discuss the consultant's observations. The consultant may ask questions such as:
What did you hope students would get from the class?
How do you know whether they did or didn't learn this?
In what ways was this a typical/atypical session?
What didn't go according to plan?
If the observation was part of the individual consultation process, at this meeting you and the consultant might consider one or two concerns on which you'd like to focus for the more immediate future. Some examples are:
You and the consultant can create an informal "action plan" and options for follow-up observations. Consultations typically continue until you feel that your needs have been met. Sometimes the consultant will work with you to schedule a mid-semester evaluation so that you can receive feedback from the students prior to the end of the semester.
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