What Is a Classroom Observation Report?

A classroom observation report contains information about a conducted classroom observation. The classroom observation can be formal or informal while an educator is teaching in a classroom setting. Fellow teachers, administrators, or instructional specialists typically perform these observations to provide constructive feedback to develop classroom management and instructional procedures. These classroom observations are also regularly scheduled by school administrators as an extension of employee performance evaluations. In saying this, the classroom observation report must detail findings from the observation process with recommendations on improvements. These documents are necessary to provide guidance and assistance to teaching staff in learning institutions.

According to gathered information coming from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), testing results from 2015 shows that 60 percent of sixth-grade students, 57 percent of eighth-grade students, and 75 percent of twelfth graders have low proficiency in Math subjects. From the outcome, most American students, especially in the twelfth grade, have difficulty learning Math topics. It is why classroom teachers must improve classroom management and develop better instructional procedures to comprehend and understand lessons better.

Different Observation Techniques

For educators to implement changes from action research to teaching and learning methods, it is vital to obtain data evidence about teaching and learning within the classroom. Below are several techniques that aid in gathering evidence regarding the teaching and learning strategies.

Student Assessment: Student assessment is in the form of written tests and examinations, providing valuable information to focus on action research. In using student assessments, be clear about the nature of information coming from test and examination results. It must also be apparent what is being assessed as the grades for assessment cannot hold the link to specific qualities needed by the educator. It is best to divide the answers to assessment questions in a qualitative method.Close Ended Questionnaires: When it comes to close-ended questionnaires, these are questions with constraint responses, commonly in a multiple-choice setup. Participants indicate the extent of agreeing or disagreeing to a given statement that reflects on a Likert scale. These statements, whether sentences, questions, or phrases, must be explicit and unambiguous. This observation technique is easy to evaluate as it gives clear answers to particular topics. The disadvantage in using this method is that the statements come from the teacher, and it is helpful to include open-ended questions to raise concerns or recommendations.Diary or Journal: In terms of writing journals, it must incorporate initial reactions to topics, constructed action plans, activity lists, critical observations, personal impressions and opinions, results, and reference list. The journal contains personal thoughts and actions that regularly and systematically reflect student behavior. It serves as starting points for reflections on efficient teaching techniques.Supporting Documents: To ensure that your research is effective, maintain documents of course development, course committee minutes, course syllabus, course memos, student handouts, examination copies, and a grading list.Interaction Schedules: Interaction schedules refer to a recording of interactions during a class. The process involves noting activities in intervals during discussions or exercises, categorizing these activities afterward for data analysis. The analysis can either be through live observations or media recordings.Interviews: During interviews, respondents can freely express their concerns and situations to the interviewer. Despite it being a time-sensitive process, it also presents difficulties in the interpretation and collection of data. Interviews can be personal or group interviews with students, giving them a scenario to address and define issues constructively compared with questionnaires. It is also useful to provide written transcripts of events to compare the reoccurrence of themes or responses. Student Learning Inventories: Student learning inventories help examine the quality of learning, particularly on deep and surface learning. These inventories help compare student groups, examine various teaching approaches, and correlate other variables. Study Process Questionnaires (SPQ) help assess an individual’s learning approach, and scores help analyze deep, surface, and achieving approaches. The changes in SPQ scores throughout a given period determine the effectiveness of the teaching and learning concepts. Open Ended Questionnaires: These types of questionnaires have specific questions where respondents freely give their responses on the space provided. The answers give feedback on a particular topic and collate into categories. It is worth noting that the best questionnaires contain open and closed-ended questions.Diagnosis of Student Conceptions: One of the ways to improve teaching techniques is by diagnosing students’ understanding of key concepts. To do this, ask questions regarding the application of these concepts through daily activities or situations. The method to receive answers can be through tests, questionnaires, or personal interviews. Student answers range within conceptions or misconceptions of the situation. Remember that responses are qualitative in nature and must undergo thorough interpretations and collection.Tape Recording: A tape or video recording provides complete, unaltered, and accurate representations of teaching techniques, class discussions, student conversations, and other activities during class. Before conducting a recording, the teacher must address the class regarding the purpose of the recording. In terms of collating and analyzing conversations, it is necessary to prepare a simple transcript.Triangulation: Instead of an observation technique, it is the process of comparing and justifying information from a source to another. For example, comparing answers from interviews, questionnaires, and examinations to obtain results and create conclusions more convincing and unbiased. Triangulation uses more than one observation technique to see consistency in the results.

Components of a Classroom Observation Report

When it comes to a classroom observation report, it is necessary to have the necessary elements to ensure a fair and just procedure in creating the observation report. Each section has a criterion and comment section where the observer indicates their observations. The list below shows the components of a class observation report that teachers, administrators, or specialists use to measure the competencies and techniques of an instructor.

Planning: The planning section helps to critique the instructor’s capacity and competence in planning and preparing instruction during class. It ranges from asking questions to achieve a deeper understanding to utilizing state standards in planning school projects.Classroom Climate: The section centers on the teacher’s technique in providing a conducive learning environment for students that coincides with and upholds the institution’s vision and mission statements. Instructional Management: In this section, observers give constructive feedback to instructors regarding the organization of teaching strategies to maximize time allocation for instructing to increase student learning. It includes writing instructions on the board or review previous materials as refreshers.Instructional Content Knowledge: The section creates an initial evaluation of the teacher’s competence and knowledge in acquiring and disseminating the content appropriate to the subject. It includes criteria like giving relevant life situations and integrating subject content for projects.Student Progress: In the classroom observation report, the teacher receives feedback for demonstrating their abilities to monitor, assist, and facilitate students’ educational achievements. Monitoring student’s daily attendance and maintaining complete and accurate student records are part of this section.Professional Work Habits: Observers rate the teacher’s behavior that reflects professional responsibilities and work habits. It includes interacting appropriately with students, parents, co-workers, and other personnel.Community Involvement: The section establishes and rates the teacher’s involvement in their relationship with stakeholders, including the school board, management, parents, community, and co-workers.Technology Competency: Observers also include ratings for a teacher’s ability to demonstrate knowledge in implementing and utilizing technological materials and electronics to improve student achievement. It includes utilizing learning tools to develop and engage students and apply technology used for the various activity, assessment, and evaluation strategies.

Tips in Preparing for Classroom Observation Reports

Treat getting feedback as a positive experience. Most people would feel the pressure of classroom observations, while some see it as a threat. However, it is helpful to keep in mind that these observations focus on the learning process and teaching techniques. It is best to focus on the feedback rather than the grade you receive. Below are some tips you can do to prepare for an observation.

Tip #1: Think About What the Observer is Looking For During the Observation

In some cases, the observer gets the chance to speak with the instructor. During this time, they specifically say what they are looking for in the presentation. However, if there was no mention of specifics, you can inquire about their expectations, whether it is to check for understanding or promote class participation. Use the feedback to plan your class routine accordingly. It also helps to reflect on past observations and focus on the positives to prevent feeling overwhelmed or nervous. It also pays to focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses.

Tip #2: Plan Your Lesson Accordingly and in Sequence

Remember that the classroom observations are not about just one lesson. Make sure that the lessons you set for the day of the observation fit into the sequence. Guarantee that the current lesson follows the previous topic. It also demonstrates your ability to develop a plan regarding what comes next and how the entirety of the observation fits together.

Tip #3: Remember the Teaching Standards You Have

When it comes to preparing the lesson plan, ensure that you also demonstrate your ability to incorporate the criteria coming from the Teacher’s Standards. In any classroom observation, remember that every teacher is a teacher for the entirety of the class. Ensure that you can demonstrate your lesson plan through proper and comprehensive lesson delivery.

Tip #4: Always Have a Backup Plan

Ensure that you have a clear and effective lesson plan in play come observation day. Make sure you provide copies for the observer and any other personnel coming into the observation. It is safe to set up the resources you need for the class beforehand to avoid delays, assuring all supplies are complete. If you are going to use electronic devices and technology, ensure that each one works properly before the observation and create a backup plan in case unforeseen circumstances arise. Remember to be yourself, exude confidence, and stick to your teaching style to maintain effectiveness in the classroom.

Tip #5: Emphasize the Lesson Objectives

At the start of your lesson, it is advantageous to be clear about what needs to be achieved by the end of the lesson. In terms of creating lesson objectives, make sure it follows the SMART goal setting. Do not forget to assess whether these objectives are met through the defined criteria on the classroom observation report.

Tip #6: Get in the Mindset

When it comes to observations, always think positively and treat the affair as a positive experience. Gaining positive and good quality feedback empowers the entire being to perform at best. Take the time to understand the given feedback, act on it, and continue to learn and adapt to new learning techniques.

FAQs

What is a lesson observation report?

A lesson observation report is another name for a classroom observation report. It is the practice of observing and assessing the teaching procedures, techniques, and quality to guarantee that students are receiving the highest and most effective learning experience the teacher and the institution can provide its students.

What are the steps in classroom observations?

Classroom observations follow four essential steps. These activities involve pre-observation conferences, classroom observation, analysis and strategy sessions, and drafting the final report.

What is the purpose of conducting classroom observations?

The primary purpose of conducting classroom observations is to develop and improve student outcomes and student understanding through analyzing and promoting the instructional capabilities of the teacher. Another purpose it serves is to perform comprehensive investigations for possible inequities in giving instructions among different groups and types of students. Lastly, it provides researchers with information on current educational techniques and practices to identify and solve problems.

Classroom observation reports are critical documents both for the educational institution and the teacher. It helps to have fact-based feedback regarding teaching techniques to improve and develop better methods that help students. Teachers show dedication in their work. Aside from transferring knowledge to students, they also form bonds and positive relationships shaping them to have values. Teaching is a full-time job, and teachers must provide the best quality of education for their students. The article above provides classroom observation reports you can use and download to help give students the best educational experience.