Teaching Feedback on In-Person Courses

Teaching Feedback on In-Person Courses

Our experienced instructors provide feedback on in-person courses using the Classroom Observation Process outlined below. Please understand that we are able to schedule a limited number of observations per semester and that it may be necessary to defer some requests to a subsequent semester. Have questions about classroom observation? Please contact us at help@ctl.msstate.edu

Deadlines for Classroom Observation Requests

Spring 2022 Deadline for Requests: January 30th

How to Schedule a Classroom Observation

Submit the following prior to the posted semester deadline:

  • Course Syllabus
  • List of Appropriate Dates and Times for the Observation
  • Class Location
  • Brief Statement regarding Purpose of the Evaluation
  • Contact Information

To schedule a Classroom Observation, submit the required information at help@ctl.msstate.edu

Procedures

  • We generally do not observe classes prior to the 6th class day because there is not enough information for students to be able to provide meaningful feedback on course procedures. In addition, we do not observe the final class period as it is often quite different from the remainder of the course.
  • When an observation is requested, the Classroom Observation Report is issued directly to the requesting faculty member.
     

Observation Process

Note: The Center for Teaching and Learning’s Observation process is informed by Peer Review of Teaching: A Sourcebook by Nancy Van Note Chism.

1. Syllabus Review

While a complete syllabus evaluation is not a part of this process, a basic review of the syllabus is helpful in providing context for the class observation as well as points of discussion for the pre-observation meeting.

2. Pre-observation Meeting with the Faculty Member

The pre-observation meeting is useful in determining what each faculty member hopes to learn from the observation. Topics that may be discussed in the pre-observation meeting include:

  • General class goals.
  • Teacher goals for the specific class period being observed.
  • Learning activities that will take place during the class period.
  • Particular aspects of teaching that the faculty member would like the observer to focus on.
  • Logistics regarding time, location, seating arrangement and observer role.

3. In-Class Observation

The class observation allows the reviewer to document the class activities, student reactions or interactions and the faculty member’s delivery and approach. The faculty observer also notes classroom conditions, layout and any pertinent physical or equipment issues.

4. Student Focus Group and Survey

Toward the end of the class period, the faculty member and any teaching assistants are asked to leave the classroom in order for the observer to conduct a survey and focus group. The observer distributes a written survey containing two questions: 1. What works well in the class? and 2. What changes could improve this class? Students answer anonymously in writing. Following the survey, a brief focus group discussion is intended to determine how much consensus there is regarding areas of success or potential improvement. A summary of the survey and focus group findings are provided in the report. In addition, the focus group is used to determine whether the observed class period is typical for the course.

5. Post-Observation Discussion

In some cases, a post-observation meeting may be useful in exploring and discussing some of the issues that arise as a part of the observation process.

Observation Report

The observation report follows a standard format and typically includes the following:

  • Course Name
  • Catalog Description
  • Date of Observation
  • Location (and available classroom technology and equipment)
  • Observation
  • Summary of Student Responses
  • General Summary
  • Observer Signature Line

The Classroom Observation report will be sent directly to the faculty member through campus mail under cover from the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.