Services

Observations/Consultation

Classroom Observations
During a classroom observation, a classroom session is observed and possibly video-captured for the purpose of developing teaching practice through self-reflection and professional feedback.

CFE staff can support both classroom observations and videotaping for faculty who would like to expand the classroom experience for their students.

To arrange for a pre-observation discussion and subsequent post-observation (or post-videotaping) debriefing please contact Judith Ross-Bernstein (jrossbernstein@ithaca.edu) at the Center for Faculty Excellence.

Why have a classroom observation?
A classroom observation provides you with the opportunity to:
-Obtain supportive feedback on your teaching practice. 
-Make a realistic plan to fine-tune teaching skills.
-Document your instructional development.
-Develop reflective teaching practices that can lead to improved teaching.

How can you arrange a classroom observation?
-Identify who will observe your class and make arrangements for a pre-observation meeting, the observation of the class, and a post-observation meeting.
-Choose a class session to be observed. This session can be a very typical class, or it can be unique in some way.
-During the pre-observation meeting, discuss what you would like your observer to pay particular attention to.
-While being observed, let your students know what you are doing and why (you may want to briefly introduce the observer and let students know that they are not being observed) and conduct your class in your usual style.
-During the post-observation debriefing shortly after the observation, receive and review your feedback and discuss possible changes and a strategy for implementation.

What are some suggestions for having an effective classroom observation?
-Think about what the goals of your class are and what aspects of your teaching you are interested in receiving feedback on.
-Take notes throughout the observation process. Consider including them as part of a teaching portfolio.
-Consider participating in multiple observations over a period of time to revisit your teaching performance and to document your development as an instructor.
-Plan to collaborate with a colleague by agreeing to observe each other’s classes.