1) What is an Observation?
An observation is an informal visual assessment of student learning.
2) What is an Observation’s objective?
To help the teacher see student learning in order to check on the effectiveness of instruction, to change instruction, and/or to assess student learning.
3) What does a good Observation accomplish?
Provides immediate feedback to a teacher about student learning.
4) What is a good Observation design?
A rigorous observation is a structured model for the visual assessment of every student over time so that the student learning experience can be carefully documented.
5) Do you have to observe every student?
No, an observation can be focused on one student, one student over time, or many students over time. An observation could use a subset, or sample, of the total number of students.
6) What are the four types of survey instruments?
Self-administered questionnaires, interviews, structured record reviews and structured Observations.
7) What is a valid and reliable Observation?
Validity is established when the instrument measures what it is supposed to measure, e.g., content, skills, knowledge. Reliability is when the instrument measures that content, skills or knowledge accurately across students, classes, schools, etc.
8) What type of results do you get with Observations?
Observations answer questions of immediate worth: What does the student experience look like right now? What did one student do? What classroom outcomes did you observe? What are the differences in opinion among students about…? What do most audience members think about…?
9) What is a good Observation report?
A short, concise document that both reveals and shows the most important results. For example, “audience surveys of every tenth performance show an increase in understanding of the play and a decrease in frustration about the accents employed in the play.” Or, “surveys show that students in the Shakespeare class have little or no experience with Shakespeare when they start out with us.” (Adapted from Fink 2003)
Introduction to Observation Forms & Guidelines (MS Word)
Observation of Students: No Scoring (MS Word)
Observation Template (MS Word)
Observation of Teaching Artist (MS Word)
Observation of Students (MS Word)
Interdisciplinary Template: State Standards (MS Word)
Interdisciplinary Template: National Standards (MS Word)
Interdisciplinary Template: Generic (MS Word)
Observation examples were collected from the theatres below over the course of the last two years, and helped influence the creation of the models above. The actual models were created by the TEAM Working Group.
Adirondack Theatre Festival, Alliance Theatre, The Cleveland Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Paper Mill Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, TADA!