We’re inviting experienced teaching staff across the university to open the door to their classroom for colleagues to observe their class as part of the ‘Open for Observation’ program.

Embrace this opportunity. You might discover that what you do in the classroom is indeed innovative, original, interesting and creative. Sometimes we need another pair of eyes to see what we ourselves can’t see.

Previous Open for Observation participant

After a successful pilot last year, we ran an expanded Open for Observation program in Session 1 this year with 18 staff across MQ opening their classes and 63 staff booking in to observe. We’re now putting the call out for staff to participate during session 2, as teachers, observers, or both! Previous participants said it was a worthwhile and beneficial experience all round, and we have some return visitors – teachers and observers – who are keen to repeat their experience.

Why open up your classroom?

  • To connect with colleagues within and beyond your own discipline
  • It’s an opportunity to share knowledge through practice
  • To support other teaching staff to reflect on and enhance their own teaching confidence and practice
  • To get feedback on something new you are trying in class or simply for general feedback to enhance your own teaching (but only if you would like to)
  • Contribute to the broad conversation about why we teach the way we do
  • Reflect on your own teaching.

You choose, we arrange it

  • You tell us which class/es (dates/times) you would like to make available and advise how many observers you would like (this might be just one or two for a small tutorial class, or perhaps a larger number if it’s more of a lecture style class).
  • We organise the booking system and staff book in according to their interest and availability.
  • You will be advised of who is attending each class. You can decide how much contact you want with each observer, either before or after the class (or both).

A mix of class types and disciplines

Whether you are teaching a tutorial, lecture, workshop, seminar or something else, whether it’s face to face or online (Zoom), day or evening – we’d love to be able to open your door.

We’ll be encouraging staff take the opportunity to observe classes outside of their own discipline so we would ideally like to be able to open classes across different faculties and department/ schools/ and colleges.

Ready when you are!

We’re ready when you are to open up teaching observation opportunities for Session 2. Feedback from previous participants suggested that between weeks 4 through to 10 in a regular teaching session works best for teachers as towards the end of session some classes may be starting to move more into a revision mode. We know not everyone is teaching on a 13-week session though – those teaching in MQBS and Macquarie University College are very welcome to let us know what times would work for them.

We’ll be accepting class dates from 15th August onwards.

How to participate

If you’d like to open the door to your classroom, please fill in your details in this form and we’ll do the rest.

Like to know more?

How many classes can I open up?

That’s totally up to you. It can be just one class on a particular day, or more over several weeks.

How do observers book into my class – what’s the booking process?

There will be a TECHE article with a list of all the possible open classes available. If interested, a staff member will click on the unit they are interested in, and it will take them to a timetable of the options (dates/times). There will be a link to register for a specific class/date/time. The observer will receive confirmation of their booking and a calendar invitation (so they remember what they booked) which can be added to their calendar. The booking confirmation will have details of the class location or the Zoom link (plus any other information that you think is relevant to send them about your class).

How will I know who is observing my class?

The booking system will automatically send you an email when someone registers to attend your class.

Please let us know in advance how many observers you would like in any one class. The booking system will ensure that only that number of places are available.

What will the observer do during my class?

They will be in the class with the students, just observing though, not participating or interacting with students (unless you specifically request otherwise). You can provide us with any specific instructions which will be included with the class information when they book. For example, you may want them to introduce themselves to the class or to remain on mute. You may like to suggest particular things you would like them to focus on during the class, or something you would like feedback on.

Each observer will be provided with a guided Reflection Sheet to record their observations with prompts that will focus on capturing practices and techniques that they may wish to explore for their own teaching development.

Will the observer/s contact me before the class?

Again, that’s up to you. Some of the teaching staff who participated previously felt that it was useful to have a discussion before the class about what to expect during the class, but this optional.

Can teaching staff from my own department/discipline observe my class?

Yes, of course. We also want to encourage people to observe classes outside of their own discipline to get a different perspective.

Should I meet with the observer/s after the class? Will I be able to get feedback on my class?

Almost all of the pilot participants felt it was an important part of the process to have a conversation with the observer afterwards. This could be an opportunity to hear their observations and respond to any questions.

How will the Open for Observation program be promoted?

There will be a TECHE article promoting the Open for Observation program and inviting staff to book in to observe a class. Teaching staff who open their class are encouraged to also promote the program (using the link to the TECHE article) within their own department/faculty.

If you have any other questions, please contact professional.learning@mq.edu.au

Images:
Banner Image: Shutterstock
Open image: Shutterstock

Posted by L&T Development

The Learning and Teaching Staff Development team works with staff across the University to ensure they are supported to facilitate quality learning for students. This includes offering professional development, contributing to curriculum and assessment design, recognising and rewarding good practice, supporting peer review of teaching, and leading scholarly reflection. Email professional.learning@mq.edu.au with questions or requests.

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