In-Class Observations

Due to current demand and staffing capacity, requests for in-class observations may require approximately 4-6 weeks advance scheduling time. 

ABOUT IN-CLASS OBSERVATIONS:

In-class observations typically involve:

  1. An initial consultation with the instructor.
  2. A one-hour class visit from a member of the CTSI team (this may or may not include a recording of the lecture).
  3.  A follow-up consultation.


In-class observations are an effective means to:

  1. Gather formative feedback on one’s teaching in a low-risk context.
  2.  Explore ways to strengthen instructional practices and achieve goals for student learning.

NOTE:

  • In-class observations must be booked at least 4-6 weeks in advance and will be conducted during regular business hours (9am-5pm).
  • In-class observations conducted by CTSI staff are intended to provide formative feedback for instructors. Instructors may choose to include the feedback from CTSI in their teaching dossiers; however, this feedback is not evaluative (and as such differs from the onsite observations of teaching that may form a part of the tenure review process).
  • CTSI does not record lectures for uses other than in-class observations and consultations. (For example, we cannot record lectures for instructors to post on-line, use for conferences, or for hiring/promotion purposes.)
  • In-class observations should not be scheduled for the first or last day of class in a term, nor during sessions with tests/exams or guest lecturers.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to conduct in-class observation for evening classes (after 6pm).

Request an Observation

OTHER OPTIONS FOR RECEIVING FORMATIVE FEEDBACK ON YOUR TEACHING:

  • Ask a peer from your department to observe your teaching or to review your teaching materials.
    This can be particularly helpful if you’re looking for comments on course content, the level that your material is pitched at, or the relationship of your course material to other courses offered in your department or program.
  • Ask a peer from another department or division to observe your teaching or to review your teaching materials.
    This can be helpful if you’re looking for feedback from outside your discipline, particularly in relation to organization, presentation, structure, and clarity.
  • Ask an award winning colleague to observe your teaching or to review your teaching materials.
    UofT’s award winning teachers can provide sound pedagogical advice and share their own strategies with you.

** For more information on using peer feedback in your teaching, please see CTSI’s Peer Observation of Teaching: Effective Practices guide.

  • Collect mid-course feedback.
    Administering a short survey to your students midway through a course can provide more immediate formative feedback on particular aspects of the course, such as assessment measures, new teaching strategies, or educational materials. Mid-course feedback can be gathered through a short questionnaire, one-minute papers, or other quick strategies.

** For more information on gathering mid-course feedback, please see the CTSI guide Gathering Formative Feedback with Mid-Course Evaluations.