Center for Faculty Development
Services

Classroom Observations

  • The Center for Faculty Development provides formative classroom teaching observations and customized feedback for faculty across the university. All discussions and outcomes are kept confidential; while faculty may choose to share experiences with others, your Center colleagues will not.

    Process

    Ideally, we follow a 3-stage process:

    Stage 1: Preliminary discussion

    This discussion enables your Center colleague to find out the context of the course, the students and the planned sequence of events for the class, establishes the purpose of the classroom observation for the faculty member, and gives time to sort out any logistical issues which may need to be taken into consideration.

    As part of this discussion, you, as the faculty member, can choose which specific aspects of the class you would like the observer to be noting;

    Stage 2: Classroom observation

    Here, your observer will take note of anything relevant to your chosen areas of focus. It is often best if the observer can be left to observe, rather than be brought into classroom discussions, though you may wish to discuss this with your observer first.

    Stage 3: Follow-up meeting

    This meeting is typically one or two days after the observation, allowing the observer time to collate any notes and retrieve helpful information, and giving the professor time to reflect on the session. In this meeting, both parties talk through the requested areas of focus and the professor identifies adjustments or suggestions which s/he feels may work well in this context for this group of students. It's helpful here to be mindful of the fact that not all examples of "good practice" or "received wisdom" will work in all settings, and that you may want to disregard some suggestions if you feel they would not work for you or your students.

    Interested?

    Classroom observations can be arranged with a colleague from the Center or with one of our trained Peer Consultants from around the university. Please contact us either centrally or individually in the Center for Faculty Development to arrange for someone to come and observe one of your classes.

    Faculty Development office T (206) 296-2144 | E faculty-development@seattleu.edu | Hunthausen 120

    Dr David Green, Director T (206) 296-5386 | E greend@seattleu.edu | Hunthausen 124