Classroom Observations

CETL strives to accommodate all instructors who desire to receive feedback on their classroom instruction through our classroom observation service. We are pleased to work with instructors to meet your needs as closely as possible when scheduling an observation. Observations generally range from 50-75 minutes. Targeted observations for a portion of a class period may also be appropriate. We ask that you limit requests for observations to one course observation per semester. Selecting a single course creates a manageable action plan that allows you to be highly intentional and focused on documenting your scholarly approach to continuous improvement in your teaching; it also creates space for CETL to serve all instructors seeking support for their teaching development through our classroom observation program. This service is a scheduled service (as opposed to on-demand) that is responsive to limitations on CETL consultant availability and to the time at which courses are taught.

As part of the classroom observation process, we will sit in on your course (or review your online course), observe and collect data on individual behaviors (yours’s and your students’), offer our observations back to you as feedback, brainstorm possible solutions to any issues uncovered, and document the entire process within a written memo.  

What to expect for your classroom observation:

  • First, we will schedule the observation along with a time to meet a few days before your class. Meeting before the observation by phone is fine if that is most convenient. We will talk about what you are trying to accomplish with your students, the pedagogical approaches you are using, 2 or 3 areas you would most like to receive feedback on, and answer any questions you may have.

  • The instructor introduces the CETL staff member to the class and explains the purpose of the observation. We will generally sit in the back of class and take a variety of notes related to the areas on which you requested feedback during the pre-observation discussion. 

  • We will need to schedule a time to debrief for 30-60 minutes. It works best if we can debrief shortly after class or as soon you as you are free that same day, but we can wait a day or two if scheduling necessitates. After the debrief, we then provide you a memo on CETL letterhead summarizing the major points from our discussion.

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