Active Learning Classroom Observation Tool: A Practical Tool for Classroom Observation and Instructor Reflection in Active Learning Classrooms


Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTLs) have long offered the service of classroom observations to instructors who seek to improve in-class teaching effectiveness. Classroom observations, however, have not explicitly addressed the recent emergence of "active learning classrooms," classrooms that are designed to support active and collaborative learning approaches. Given the absence of an observation protocol explicitly designed to address instructional approaches within active learning classrooms, in spring and fall of 2015, CTL faculty developers and researchers at Indiana University-Bloomington created the Active Learning Classroom Observation Tool (ALCOT). The ALCOT allows a holistic consideration of the learning experience, providing a view to the instructor’s attempt to combine the spatial and technological affordances of a classroom with active and collaborative learning pedagogies. Faculty developers and researchers developed and piloted the Active Learning Classroom Observation Tool to elicit thoughtful reflection and meaningful feedback on teaching and learning undertaken within these new learning spaces.