Teaching Consultations and Observations

One key to enhancing teaching is receiving feedback from outside observers. Any tenure-track, term faculty member or staff with a teaching responsibility can visit CELT on a confidential basis to discuss concerns about course design or presentation, course materials (including course syllabus, presentation aids, writing assignments, or test materials), barriers and strategies for teaching inclusively, or methods to enhance student learning. An administrative staff member from CELT can arrange to observe a class.

These services are offered for formative professional development only. CELT does not participate in any way in a summative evaluation of individual faculty members for promotion, tenure, or performance reviews. However, CELT is available to help departments and colleges improve the evaluation of teaching.

Providing teaching observations and consultations has been a staple of the administrative leadership of CELT since its inception. CELT faculty and staff are asked to observe and provide consultations following these principles:

  1. The primary goal is the enhancement of teaching and learning. Specific instructor goals can range from improving end-of-teaching student ratings to documenting teaching innovations. CELT focuses on the enhancement of the teaching and learning process.
  2. Formative consultations. The process is consultative, not evaluative.
  3. Instructor-driven. Even if encouraged by their department chair or dean, the instructor must be committed to the formative teaching observation process for maximum impact.
  4. Individualized. Each instructor individualizes the consultation and observation process. Some instructors may desire just one observation and follow-up consultation. Others develop a more frequent process for observation, consultation, and documentation.
  5. Confidentiality. Discussions and documentation of the observation process remain the property of the instructor.

If you wish to have a teaching observation and consultation, please get in touch with celt@iastate.edu.