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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Wednesday, June 17 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.37 - Observing TAs’ teaching: Improving practice

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Peer teaching observations between graduate students is not a widely adopted practice. This poster will demonstrate how observations conducted by peer mentors observing new TAs were an effective way to provide formative feedback, build confidence and promote professional development. Contributors, experienced TAs and one faculty mentor, identify many aspects associated with conducting teaching observations, such as: 1) introducing new graduate students to this “situated act” (Edgerton, 1991) as academic best practice; 2) that observing does not occur only in the classroom; 3) how kinds of changes – technical, pedagogical, and critical (Bell, 2001) – were required, prevalent, or surprising; and 4) how the initial observation led to new TAs working towards refining aspects of their teaching practice. Suggestions for preparing TAs for teaching observations, including observation protocols and relationship building, are discussed, as well as questions to prompt viewer dialogue. Several handouts will be provided. These will include: observation protocol forms used by contributors, relevant resources to help begin a TA peer observation program.

Bell, M. (2001). Supported reflective practice: a programme of peer observation and feedback for academic development. International Journal for Academic Development, 6 (1) 29-39.

Edgerton, R. (1991). The teaching portfolio as a display of best work. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Higher Education, Washington, DC.

Wednesday June 17, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm PDT
Bayshore Foyer

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