FAQs for observers:
Where should I position myself and what should I do?
If you are visiting an online class, ensure that your microphone is muted. You can leave your camera on or off, depending on the prevailing culture of the class, and/or your own situation.
If you are visitng a physical class, try and sit at the back - this will help you to see what most of the students are doing as well as observe the teacher. It will also minimise any disturbance on the class.
The observation is for your own learning and benefit, so feel free to take notes or just listen and observe the class as it unfolds.
Shall I introduce myself to the teacher at the beginning of the class?
If you arrive early and feel that it is appropriate to introduce yourself, then do so. As long as you are not taking the teacher away from their students or teaching tasks then this is fine.
Should I approach the teacher afterwards?
If you have had an amazing learning experience observing their class, then we’re sure any teacher would love to hear encouraging words from their colleagues, provided this does not interrupt them from speaking with students afterwards. Also, if the teacher is open to it, you can tick a box when you sign up to observe a class that lets us know that you’d like to connect with the teacher and other observers. If everyone is keen, we will help facilitate these connections so that you can have an information conversation after the class.
Should I talk to the students in the class I’m observing?
This may be easier in a physical class. If there is time before or after the class, it may be helpful to strike a brief conversation with students who are available and in your vicinity to gauge their perspectives.
What if I’m late to the class?
For a physical class, come in through a back door quietly if possible. If this is not possible, we respectfully ask that you not attend that class and pick another one to observe.
Do I have to or should I provide feedback to the teacher?
No, not unless you both agree to this. The primary aim of observing someone’s class is to see what teaching and learning approaches have been successfully used, and what you may wish to do in your own teaching. Remember that the teachers have volunteered to open their classes.
What if I witness something I am uncomfortable with?
This largely depends on what you witness. If the disciplinary subject matter in that class is, for any reason, uncomfortable for you personally then leaving the class may be the best immediate course of action to take. Alternatively, if you feel that anything in the class breached the University’s rules or policies then the usual protocols or procedures that relate to WHS and student/staff conduct apply.
I forgot to register for a class - can I still go?
So as to manage numbers and not disrupt the classes, spaces in classes are limited. We ask that you only attend classes that you have registered for. The good news is that if there is availability, you can use the booking system to register to attend a class at any time up to the time that class starts. If you haven’t registered for a class then we ask that you find an alternate one to attend.
Why aren't there any laboratories listed?
Observing in laboratories and clinical settings is difficult to organise because of work health and safety implications.
I would like to take part but (i) I am away, (ii) there are no times available that are suitable for me or (iii) I don’t work on the main campus.
We hope to repeat and expand this event in the future. However, there is no need to wait for such an event - just ask a colleague if they mind you sitting in their class. Most people will be open to this and may appreciate the opportunity to discuss how the class went afterwards.
I would like to offer my class for others to observe.
There is no need to wait for such an event - just ask a colleague if they mind sitting in your class. Most people will be open to this and may appreciate the opportunity to discuss how the class went afterwards.