31 March 2019
Moataz Al Alfi Hall
A template for faculty teaching observations that focuses on the nature and quality of student participation the class elicits. I’ll present the format, the data from some observations, and some “before and after” effectiveness data based on re-observing classes after the faculty have been through one such observation.
I present a new classroom observation process developed in the English department at AUIS, which creates data on how students participate in class. We presume students will get best classroom practice in argumentative skills by regularly articulating original ideas, giving reasons for their claims, and engaging with their classmates’ ideas. The model thus tracks what kind of participation students are doing throughout a class, from shouting out single-word answers to giving multi-sentence, reasons-driven responses to someone else’s idea. Using a key of about 15 symbols for different kinds of contribution, and tracking what prompts from the professor lead to what kind of contribution, the system generates data on what each class gets students to do, which can be processed in various digital ways (from spreadsheets to more complex visualisations). Professors have found the process surprising and useful, and when we’ve re-observed their classes after a round of this feedback they have been able, on average, to double the amount of “high-level” cognitively complex participation. This process can easily be adopted by anyone who takes a few minutes to learn how our symbols correspond to different types of participation: participants will be able to apply it on their own campuses.
Ali ChetwyndAssistant Professor and English Department ChairAmerican University of Iraq, Sulaimani