Teaching observations are an important component of faculty development. These observations can be beneficial to faculty as they;powerfully document teaching activities, encourage reflection, foster constructive dialogues, and strengthen teaching; (Millis, 2005, p. 34).
Parker University's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has adopted a collaborative model of teaching observations, wherein the faculty and the observer share expertise and collaborate to develop solutions to improve teaching (Brinko, 1991). These observations must take place “in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect,” without feelings of criticism or threat (Millis, 1992, p. 190). To assist with the building of trust and respect, the faculty-observer team should meet at least once prior to the observation to discuss the goals of the observation(s).
Providing helpful feedback on teaching strategies, student learning, and classroom management.
Providing ideas for redesigning course elements or ideas for adoption of new teaching methods.
Assisting faculty with self-reflection of their teaching and with evaluation of the effectiveness of their teaching related to student learning outcomes.
Creating a culture of teaching in which faculty share and discuss teaching methods and improve on their own teaching methods.
Through the teaching observation process, the CTL seeks to provide faculty with constructive feedback that generates new ideas for effective teaching and student learning. To discuss the process, or to schedule an observation, contact the CTL at firstname.lastname@example.org or x7417.