Class Observations


See your classroom from a new perspective to get new ideas to maximize student learning.



Classroom observations help you see your classroom in a new way – with concrete information about how you use time and space. These 20-30 minute observation sessions are performed by one of CETL’s experienced teaching consultants. At the follow-up meeting, you will work with the teaching consultant to develop ideas on how to improve your teaching effectiveness, time management, and your ability to engage all of your students. You will likely get far more ideas than you can implement in the current quarter!


What happens after I schedule a classroom observation?

A teaching consultant will contact you to schedule your observation and follow-up consultation and to answer any questions you have.

What happens during the classroom observation?

The teaching consultant will sit unobtrusively in your classroom for 20 to 30 minutes taking notes on everything s/he sees. While the consultant cannot record everything that happens, s/he will focus on items that will be most useful in helping you to increase your teaching effectiveness.

To put your students at ease, you should explain to them that the consultant is there to gather information about your teaching and is primarily watching you, not them.

How will I learn from an observation of my class?

In providing classroom consultations, you will see your teaching from your students’ points of view. The classroom transcript provides you two types of “data”:

  • Temporal: The transcript will help you see how time works in your classroom. It includes notes about your activities and behaviors during class, as well as those of your students. For example, the transcript will help you review how much time you spend per concept and what proportion of time is spent on lecture, questions, and discussion.
  • Spatial: A map of your classroom will help you see how space works in your classroom. It shows which students ask questions, which students answer questions, which students remain silent, and more. You may find you only talk to students in the first two rows, allowing students to avoid active participation by sitting elsewhere in the room.

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