The panelists were all from Simmons College:
- Laura Saunders
- Monica Colon-Aguirre (presented using voicethread.com)
- Lisa Hussey
- Mary Wilkins Jordan
How to be a good observer...
Before the class:
- focus on logistics
- be a good listeners
- work with the faculty on which classes would be best to observe
- for a three-hire class, which part of class will you observe?
- inform the students
- they use an intake form (which will be available through the ALISE web site) - helps the observer know what to look for. Also have a class observation rubric.
During the observation:
- arrive at the class promptly
- know that it is okay to interact in a limited way with the class. Remember that you are really there to observe and give constructive feedback.
- take notes while you're in the class.
- follow up promptly
- They have a debrief form, which helps to structure the feedback
- include questions that you might have about how the class is taught
- include specific suggestions
- Can't just observe one week. You need a larger view, in order to understand how people are engaged in the class.
- We all tend to construct our online classes differently, which takes a while to understand. You may need to look at the class using the eyes of a student, rather than with the eyes of an instructor.
- Look at how the class is constructed. Does it make sense? Is it easy to navigate?
- Are students being overloaded or underloaded?
- It is okay that classes are constructed differently. The key is does it make sense.
Using the feedback from peer assessment:
- Get passed the fear of being judge. Peers are highly unlikely going to tear your class apart.
- Understand that peer review is helpful because it is different that student evaluation.
- Plan to incorporate the feedback.
- Incorporate 1-2 pieces of feedback immediately.
- Look to incorporate more of the feedback the next time you teach the class.
- Informally talk to others about how they are teaching and learn from them.
- Talk to people who teach other sections or similar topics.
- Take classes/workshops on teaching (e.g., a MOOC).
- In can be helpful to observe the same person more than once, over several semesters.
Self-reflection: The teaching diary
- Search voicethread.com for her name (Monica Colon-Aguirre), in order to view her presentations. (Sadly, I lost my notes on this. Sigh.) [Addendum, 2/2/2015: Her Voice Thread presentation is at https://voicethread.com/myvoice/#thread/6484887/.]
- The evaluator needs to spend time upfront getting organized and understanding a bit of the class.
- Get feedback from students on your syllabus.
- Their rank and tenure committee is considering moving to this model and altering how often they do their current process.
- Peer evaluation gives your content evaluation that you need. Different people will see/comment on different things.