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Classroom Observation of Teaching

Classroom observation is a method of documenting teaching practice in real time, with the observer taking notes and/or coding instructional behaviors. The technique is more common in K–12 settings where regulatory demands mandate periodic evaluation of teaching competencies, but classroom observations are becoming increasingly common in higher education. Observation protocols also vary according to their level of granularity, object of study, degree of inference required by observers, and level of structure built into instruments.

As classroom observations become more frequently used in higher education, it is appropriate to examine their reliability, validity, and role in instructional reform initiatives. This entry provides an overview of classroom observation of teaching, including reasons for such observation, characteristics of and examples of observation protocols, and related methodological considerations.

Reasons for ...
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