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Center for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning


Review of materials

person reviewing materials


The purpose of this portion is to gain the student perspective on the lesson. Reviewing course materials will help the observer understand the materials that the students will have to make sense of the lesson under observation and can help the observer determine the degree to which students were prepared for the lesson and why the lesson succeeded or where the instructor could have prepared the learners for instruction.

What to do

The observer should gain access to the Canvas/D2L site for the course; the syllabus; and any other materials the instructor used to frame the lesson for the students (emails, announcements, etc). If the observer is familiar with the content are, they may also wish to have access to the readings that students have done in preparation for the lesson.
Reviewing the materials
The reviewer should consider:
  • What would a student think the goal of the lesson is?
  • How would a student fit this lesson together with the class as a whole?
  • How should the students have prepared themselves for instruction?
    • Were there formative knowledge checks or ways to practice the lesson material ahead of time?
    • What types of academic support did the students have at their disposal (access to tutoring, writing center, etc.)
  • How did the instructor frame the lesson material and put it into context for students (in Canvas site, syllabus, or other communications)?
(Download a syllabus review form)