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Teaching Observations

When your request a teaching observation, a colleague from the Center for Faculty Development observes your class—whether it is a lecture, discussion, lab, studio, recitation, or on-line.  All observations are voluntary and confidential.  An observation provides formative feedback from an outside perspective on the aspects of your teaching that interest you most.  Teaching observations are designed to be formative assessments used to improve teaching.  You can request an observation at any time during the semester.  While you may use the feedback you receive to document that you have been working to improve your teaching, we do not conduct summative assessments or observations for faculty who are undergoing the process of reappointment, or tenure/promotion review.

Why Do It?

An observation provides feedback from an outside perspective on the aspects of your teaching that interest you most.  Consultants provide objective data regarding your teaching techniques as well as the observable behaviors of your students. Faculty request observations of their teaching to gauge how effective they are in the classroom, for example, because they are trying a new teaching technique, or because they are seeking to address a perceived problem.

The Steps in Our Process

  1. Request an observation at least one week in advance
  2. Meet with a CFD colleague to discuss your class context, your reasons for the observation, and your goals for feedback.
  3. A CFD colleague observes your class.
  4. Meet with CFD colleague to discuss your perceptions and receive feedback as well as a written memo that summarizes this feedback.
The Ground Rules

  • Observations are voluntary and confidential.  
  • Observations are designed to provide formative feedback for teaching improvement.  
  • We do not provide documentation of teaching for Tenure/Promotion documents.


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