Observation by an outsider is a great way to get insights into your own strengths and weaknesses in teaching. We facilitate three types of classroom observation:
Observations by Faculty Center Staff
We regularly receive requests for classroom observations in both face-to-face and online modalities as part of faculty development. We do these observations only when requested by the individual faculty member, and all results and discussions about the observations are kept strictly confidential.
To set up an appointment for a classroom observation by Faculty Center staff, give us a call at 407-823-3544, or fill out a request form.
Observations by Peer Faculty Members (Teaching Squares)
Teaching Squares consist of four faculty members from different disciplines who agree to visit each other’s classes over the course of the semester and discuss what they’ve learned. The purpose is not to evaluate each other, but rather to gain new ideas about teaching one’s own classes. As the four meet together afterward, they open up new spaces for reflection and conversation about teaching. See our Teaching Squares page for more information.
Observations by Departmental Colleagues
Sometimes it’s helpful to have someone who understands your discipline give you feedback on your teaching. That person may understand the specific challenges of teaching involved in your disciplinary area. We suggest holding face-to-face meetings before and after a peer observation. During the meeting, the faculty member to be observed can contextualize the class for the observer by providing information about course goals, overarching teaching strategies, assignments, and assessment. The course syllabus can help the observer to get a sense of the direction of the class.
If you decide to have a departmental colleague do classroom observation, here are some helpful tools.
Rubrics for observing face-to-face courses
- Criteria for Peer Observation
Rubrics for observing online courses
For peer or chair observations of online courses, we recommend that you add the observer to your Webcourses account in the “Observer” role (you can find the functionality to “enroll members” in the gradebook). If needed, the observer can be added as a Teaching Assistant to see objects, modules, and quizzes that are presently hidden. All past email communications with students will not be visible to the reviewer, but you can create a printable view to share this material, if desired.
Here are some rubrics for online peer evaluation: