skip to content

The Center for theAdvancement of Teaching & Learning

Class

Observations

One option for a consultation is to invite a consultant to observe your class. This can allow you to have a thorough, in-depth discussion on your teaching style, strengths and areas for improvement. This can be particularly useful for classes with challenging content or student dynamics, or courses that you may have taught many times before and feel have become 'stale'.

The process for an observation is below, but if you have any questions, or would like to schedule an observation, please email the CATL.

Please note that these observations are for your use only. No materials from CATL Observations will go into your file unless you choose to put them there.


  • Pre-Observation Meeting

    Prior to the observation, you'll meet with your Consultant. The purpose of this meeting is to create a context for the observation based on your instructional style, goals, and experience.

    You may wish to identify instructional areas you would like to be of emphasis during the class observation. You should bring materials such as your syllabus, textbook, sample exams, and/or past student evaluations to guide the Consultant in understanding your class and goals

  • Classroom Observation

    While observing your class, the Consultant will take descriptive notes on the instructional delivery and classroom dynamics. Faculty-student interactions, student-to-student interactions, and student behavior will be noted. In addition, the Consultant may also use a checklist to document the teaching approaches, methods, and skills in practice.

  • Post-Observation Meeting

    After the observation, you will meet with the consultant to discuss the classroom observations. The consultant may ask questions such as:

    • What did you want the students to learn in the class session?
    • How do you know whether the students can demonstrate that they learned this?
    • In what ways was this a typical/atypical session?
    • What did not go according to your plan?

    At this meeting, you and the Consultant will consider one or two instructional areas for development based on the goals discussed during the Pre-Observation Meeting.