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The observation guide provides guidelines for effective observation and feedback. Observing educators while they teach is a process that comprises three components: 1) a pre-observation session, 2) the teaching observation, and 3) a post-observation session. You may register for a teaching observation using the form below. For the pre-observation, a CTL staff member will schedule a meeting to discuss the observation process, focus, and schedule the teaching observation(s). The observation will take place at the agreed upon time. For the post-observation, the CTL staff member will schedule a second meeting to provide the instructors with a written observation report, discuss the findings, and provide recommendations for improvement. If desired, the CTL staff member can also provide an observation report needed for tenure and promotion applications.

  1. Pre-observation meeting

Faculty/instructors interested in scheduling a teaching observation must communicate this request to the CTL using the form below. A CTL member will communicate with the requestor to determine a mutually convenient time for the pre-observation meeting. In the meeting, they will:

  • Determine a suitable date, time and location for the teaching observation.
  • Ensure that both parties are comfortable with the duration of the observation and agree upon any specific protocols or guidelines that need to be followed.
  • Establish clear objectives and expectations for the observation, including the identification of focus areas for feedback
  • Decide on the observation instrument (feedback form)
  • Decide where the observer will be seated in the teaching space.
  • Introduce the observer to the session content, expected learning outcomes, and the technology used during the session delivery.
  • Provide the observer with any material or handouts the observed will use to teach during the observation session.
  • Conclude this meeting by reviewing the expected deliverables, such as the feedback form, suggestions for areas of development, a written report, and the timeline for receipt of these deliverables.
  1. Observation Session

The CTL member will arrive early and leave after the teaching session to have a complete picture of the rapport and interaction between the observed and the students and the latter’s engagement in the session material. During this session, the CTL observer will:

  • Blend into the classroom environment without causing disruptions, be discrete and avoid any participation in the session. Follow the teacher’s instructions regarding seating arrangements, use of electronic devices, or any other guidelines they may provide.
  • Take detailed, comprehensive notes on the teacher’s instructional techniques, student engagement strategies, classroom management methods, and any other noteworthy observations, recording specific examples and key takeaways, including points of strength.
  • Eliminate their expertise in teaching and subject matter, if applicable, to capture the student’s experience, measure the level of learning acquired by the students in the session and recommend any actions that would enhance these learning experiences.

After class, the observer will provide brief verbal feedback and ask clarification questions to provide comprehensive feedback.

  1. Post-observation Meeting 

The CTL member will schedule a meeting with the Faculty/instructor to share their feedback and reflections and exchange ideas. It is valuable to schedule it shortly after the observation session, depending on both availability. At the beginning of this meeting, the observer will invite the educator to share insights and reflect on their teaching practices. In this session, the observer will:

  • Initiate a feedback discussion, highlight the strengths of the teaching and provide suggestions for improvement based on their observations.
  • Use specific examples and suggest actionable steps for improvement while maintaining a supportive and encouraging tone.
  • Share the completed feedback form and any deliverables agreed upon in the pre-observation session.

During this meeting, the faculty/instructor needs to:

  • Remain open to suggestions and areas for improvement, maintaining a positive and receptive attitude.
  • Reflect on the feedback and consider how they can apply it in their future teaching.

Remember, observing and seeking feedback should be a continuous cycle of growth and learning. Embrace the opportunity, be open to receiving feedback, reflect on it, enhance your teaching practice and provide your students with a high-quality learning experience.

To book an appointment with a member of the CTL please submit the form below.

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