Observation and Feedback Services

Confidential Feedback Services

Faculty members may take advantage of the Research Academy's confidential feedback services.

Depending on the interests of the instructor, the observation can take one of six forms: observation, observation with video, microteaching, module development, eLearning Feedback, or Student Small Group Analysis (SGA).

  • Observation: At a mutually convenient time, someone will sit in on your class and later review his or her confidential observation notes with you.
  • Video with Observation: Videotaping gives you information about your teaching, and very often the picture is worth a thousand words. The effectiveness of an observation is often enhanced by simultaneous video taping. At the end of class, you are given the video to view privately, giving you complete control over it. You also receive a checklist to help focus your review. If you wish, someone will review the video with you.
  • Student Small Group Analysis (SGA): This simple procedure provides you with early and extensive feedback from students, often giving you information and insights that do not emerge from end-of-term student ratings and comments. Best of all, you do not have to wait until the semester is over to receive feedback. If changes are appropriate, you can make them for the same class that made the suggestions. A Research Academy representative comes to your class at a time and date you determine, usually between the fifth and ninth week of classes, and after you leave the room, creates small groups and ask each one to address these questions:
    • In what ways has the instruction/instructor helped you learn in this course?
    • Can you suggest some changes in the instruction/course that would better help you learn?
    • Are you learning? Why or why not?
    • The groups tend to promote the development of ideas and a level of insight that seldom, if ever, emerges when students operate alone to scribble a few comments on the back of a form at the end of the semester. The Academy representative will collect the feedback and later meet with you to share the responses. No one else will ever see the results. The SGA is one of the quickest, easiest, and most effective ways to improve student learning in your classroom.
  • Microteaching: Practice classroom teaching sessions where students and trained consultants provide feedback on teaching style and approaches. These sessions are ideal for trying out new teaching approaches.
  • E-Learning Feedback: Feedback on teaching online/hybrid courses, including overall course outline; suggestions to promote deep learning; student feedback through virtual Small Group Analysis.
  • Module Development: Having difficulty teaching a specific part of a course, or is a concept eluding your students? We can aid in developing different approaches to teaching parts of a course.

The Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair State University promotes inquiry into one’s own teaching. The Academy never evaluates teachers, never shares information about individual teachers with those who do evaluate, and vigorously protects the confidentiality of faculty members and teaching assistants.

  • The Academy does not release the names of individuals who seek feedback services on their teaching except when authorized to do so by the individual seeking the services
  • The Academy does not release information about a feedback service or even that a service was provided.
  • The Academy neither makes nor keeps copies of tapes except when someone voluntarily donates a tape to the Academy Library. Immediately after videotaping a class, the Academy technician transfers the video to a DVD and gives both the videotape and DVD to the instructor who has complete control over it thereafter.

Call the Research Academy at 973-65-LEARN (655-3276) to arrange for feedback service.