Excellent Teacher Observations

Purpose:

Excellent Teacher Observations are a central component of the Collins Scholar professional development program for all new Grainger Engineering faculty.  The purpose of these visits is two-fold: 1) To observe, in context, faculty who employ many of the recommended instructional practices that are introduced in and encouraged during the weekly Collins Scholar seminar series; and 2) To introduce new faculty to recognized colleagues who have made a commitment to model high-quality teaching practices and to share their experiences in the classroom with other instructors.

Outcomes:

Through participation in the observation of at least one (1) excellent teacher within Grainger Engineering, new faculty will:

  • Observe faculty, course staff, and students to gather evidence of a variety of classroom experiences and to informally assess the perceived impact of specific experiences on student learning;
  • Reflect on observed teaching practices of excellent faculty, in light of their own teaching and in relationship to the broader learning goals of their disciplinary fields, to further advance their practice;
  • Engage with more experienced faculty to promote community and collaboration for excellence in teaching across the College.

Activities:

Each new faculty participant will:

  1. Select at least one (1) excellent faculty member to observe from a set of potential observations provided by AE3 staff.  Note: AE3 staff will provide information about the course, instructor, and class content to aid in the selection process.
  2. Attend the full designated class session with other new faculty and AE3 staff/affiliates.
  3. Utilize a Faculty Observation Tool to support a focused, evidence-based observation of the class session, with attention to the performance of course personnel (faculty, staff, and students).
  4. Discuss collaboratively, through guided prompts, the observation with fellow participants and, when possible, the observed faculty member in a designated discussion thread on the Collins Scholar Canvas site (asynchronous participation);
  5. Prepare a brief personal reflection of the experience, highlighting how the observation may impact his/her teaching directly.  The reflection will be shared during a collaborative activity in a future Collins Scholar weekly seminar.  
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