Class Observations & Instructional Consultations

Class Observations

AIs and other instructors can arrange for an observation from the McGraw Center to observe a class meeting and provide confidential constructive feedback.

Teaching observations are preceded by a meeting with a McGraw Center Graduate Teaching Fellow (observer / consultant) in which the instructor describes their objectives for the session and may suggest what they would like the observer to focus on.

For participants in McGraw’s Teaching Transcript program, arrangements are made for the observer to have videotaping equipment to record the observation. A link to the recording is sent to the instructor to review before the follow-up meeting with observer. In the follow-up meeting, the observer addresses moments of the class of particular interest to the instructor.  As you watch your video, we offer some considerations to keep in mind and questions to help focus your viewing on important teaching issues.

After the instructor reviews the recording of the class session, the graduate teaching fellow and instructor meet again for a descriptive, non-evaluative discussion of the class with feedback for the instructor. If the instructor indicates interest in changing aspects of their teaching, the consultant can suggest information resources or strategies for doing so.

As part of the class visit, instructors may wish to set aside the last 5-10 minutes of class for the consultant to get feedback on the class from students, with or without the instructor present.

Instructional Consultations

Instructors may make an appointment to meet with a McGraw Center instructional consultant. Consultation services are designed to respond to requests concerning teaching, course design and student learning. These non-evaluative consultations may address any number of topics, including but not limited to:

  • preparing a syllabus or teaching philosophy statement
  • leading discussions or problem sets
  • trying out new approaches or techniques in lecture, lab or precept
  • grading student work.

We do review Statements of Teaching Philosophy for participants in our Teaching Transcript program but recommend that you read our web pages and FAQs on writing teaching statements as you write or revise your statement and before you request a meeting.