Publication Date

4-2022

Document Type

Article

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Disciplines

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Science and Mathematics Education

Publication Title

Journal of College Science Teaching

Volume

51

Issue

4

First Page

35

Last Page

45

Abstract

The Student Participation Observation Tool (SPOT) is a web-based classroom observation protocol developed for higher education STEM courses and based on research on evidence-based practices. The low-inference and objective nature of the SPOT and visual outputs make it an optimal tool for teaching professional development. The SPOT allows novice users to use data from their own classes to reflect on, and make data-driven changes to, their teaching practices. In particular, the SPOT was designed to present faculty with objective data related to their use of active instructional approaches, be easy for practitioners to use, and provide data outputs that are illustrative and non-evaluative. Use of the SPOT in a workshop series revealed that these design features allow faculty to collect reliable observation data with minimal training. Furthermore, SPOT data promoted faculty reflection on teaching practice and motivated faculty to make changes to their teaching that aligned with more learner-centered practices. Beyond teaching professional development, we suggest how the SPOT may be used to increase the usefulness of peer observation for teaching evaluation.

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