One way of supporting innovative teaching on campus is through classroom observations. We might observe faculty to document general patterns of pedagogy in use across campus, to provide feedback to individual faculty who have requested support, to coach others in teaching techniques, or perhaps as part of a learning tour where faculty observe other faculty to note patterns and reflect on their own practices. It is difficult to talk about good teaching practices without the evidence and experiences of an actual classroom, so we include teaching observations as an essential component for innovating our teaching at Mines.
We always work with faculty who are observing others so they learn to capture evidence-based, non-judgmental noticings during the observation. We then discuss what we noticed and observed, and make these observations available to the classroom instructor, if desired. We use the noticings to reflect on our own practices and to consider questions that might advance teaching at Mines.
The purpose of the observations may be driven by a variety of factors, however the Trefny Innovative Instruction Center will NOT conduct observations to evaluate faculty. Faculty may choose to use the feedback from an observation as part of their portfolio. Additionally, we can work with others to learn how to conduct evidence-based observations.