Class Observations or Teaching Walkthroughs

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What Does a Class Observation or Teaching Walkthrough Look Like? 

We offer class observations or teaching walkthroughs to educators teaching in any location or format. The difference between the observation and the walkthrough is only in terms of duration and possible detail of related notes. While an observation typically lasts 1 hour, a walkthrough typically lasts 20 minutes. Classes are generally observed live, though we must sometimes make adaptations based upon contextual constraints. Examples include:
  • Location/Modality - We may observe face-to-face or through digital live or recorded means based on contextual factors. Typically, we observe face-to-face live when possible. 
  • Technology - We may use different technologies to live stream or record sessions as necessary. Typically, we do not record unless necessary based on other constraints. 
  • Staff/Time - We may receive requests for observations at times/locations outside of standard "business" hours or staff work locations, or we may have competing demands, thus services and time commitments may be scaled as necessary.  

How Do You Observe an Online Class? 

We can observe both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (not live) online classes. For feedback on a synchronous session facilitated through a tool like WebEx, we may ask you to record a session for later review or we may attend live depending on schedules. For feedback on an asynchronous online course, we review the most recent week or two of course components and interactions available within the Blackboard course shell. Many educators teaching online make use of ready-to-teach content packages, so be aware that our feedback is not on fixed course design, but rather on the educator’s facilitation of that content package and experience for learners. If you seek feedback on online course design, please view our instructional design page.

What Do We Believe is Effective Teaching Practice? 

To provide transparency regarding what we look to observe in effective teaching practice, we provide you with the framework for our observations here. This framework is inspired by resources such as Tripod’s 7Cs Framework of Effective Teaching (2016, CC BY–NC–ND 4.0) and Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching (The Danielson Group LLC, 2014), which are informed by peer-reviewed research. Though developed initially for the K-12 context, they have been adapted for and applied within higher education contexts as well.  

ApplyApply   

What We Offer You  

  • Confidentiality. Though observation notes will be captured and documented within our office and for you, this feedback is confidential between you and us and will not be shared with your teaching supervisor or others outside of our team.  
  • Suggested strategies and implementation techniques to enhance teaching. There are many ways to enhance teaching. We will focus on quick, easy-to-implement strategies to align with our service objective.  
  • A letter documenting your participation. This can be added to your portfolio to demonstrate your commitment to ongoing reflection on and improvement of your teaching.  It will not contain confidential details of feedback or suggested strategies, as it is intended for public use. 

What We Ask in Return  

  • A collaborative, willing attitude. This feedback is provided in the spirit of friendly collaboration and growth, not from a place of evaluation. We know that teaching practice can feel deeply personal. However, growth often comes from a place of discomfort, so, we ask that you also approach this process with interests in self-reflection and professional growth.     
  • Commitment to the process and implementing related changes. To align with the service objective, we will follow up to gauge implementation of suggested strategies. Our teaching feedback consultation often involves multiple, time-intensive components (consulting, observing, surveying, analyzing data, reporting, etc.), so we ask that you commit to the process and to resulting incremental change.  

ParticipateParticipate 

  • To see what events we may be offering related to teaching practice and feedback, check out our CIS Events Page
  • Schedule a class observation or teaching walkthrough on our Teaching Feedback page

ReferRefer 

The Danielson Group LLC. (2014). The Framework. Retrieved from https://www.danielsongroup.org/framework/

Tripod (2016). Guide to Tripod's 7Cs(TM) Framework. Retrieved from http://tripoded.com/teacher-toolkit/.