Open your classroom and discover someone else’s

Open Door is a University-wide event designed to enable all staff to observe, connect and learn from teaching colleagues. It’s part of the University’s Strategic Plan to support and promote excellence in learning and teaching. As we did last semester, this semester we’re inviting every teacher to host one or more Open Door classrooms. Regardless of your campus or discipline, all teachers are encouraged to open their classroom during Week 4 and/or Week 6.

Open Door visits again include the option for a post-event conversation, where the teacher and observer/s can connect after the event – either directly afterwards or over the coming days. It creates a great opportunity to talk through what happened in the classroom, and explore how the observer might integrate an approach or tool they liked into their own teaching. It also allows teachers from across disciplines to build connections with others they may not have met or worked with before.

We’ve already seen over 60 classrooms opened and over 100 colleagues registered in week 4. There is still time to open your own week 6 classroom this semester, and sign up to observe the Open Doors. Some are already full (there’s a limit so that observers don’t disrupt the class), so get in quick!

This post has been adapted with permission from Staff News.

Lots of good reasons to be a part of Open Door

Last semester there were 95 Open Door sessions – this semester, there are over 100, and counting. There are lots of good reasons for teachers to open their classroom door to colleagues, as shown in this selection of feedback from teachers who participated last semester.

  • “Through my past experience with Open Door, I’ve significantly improved my teaching and learning experiences of students, based on the constructive feedback from peers.”
  • “I connected with some wonderful teachers that I may otherwise not have met.”
  • “I enjoy communicating with my colleagues about teaching, and it challenges me to think about the way I teach.”
  • “It was lovely to chat with people after the class to hear what they found useful and what suggestions they had.”
  • “I want to encourage the normalisation of peer observation throughout the University.”
  • “I had some difficult content to deliver to a class and I wanted feedback and suggestions from peers on how I could do it better.”
  • “Why not? It can only be a good thing!”

The feedback from observers who attended an Open Door was similarly positive. In response to the question, What’s one thing you might try after observing your colleague/s at an Open Door?’ responses included:

  • I will try to make my tutorial more learner-centred
  • Integrating more sections into my lectures where students can fill-in-the-blanks
  • I really liked the lecturer’s use of storytelling – it will be useful for me for conference presentations and perhaps future classes
  • Spending a little more time waiting for students to answer my questions
  • Reflecting on my body language as a way of motivating students
  • Delegating half the class as ‘experts’ for the session, who have prepared more thoroughly and are ready to answer the questions and lead the discussion
  • The use of an effective video piece to underline the theme of the lecture was excellent and reminded me how effective this is
  • I will base my lecture on questions from students – encourage them to go over the content before the lecture and send me their questions – which I can then create lecture content around
  • Start using tools like Socrative, Answer Garden and Padlet, to generate more student input

Let me in!

Open your own classroom door in week 6 I want to go to an Open Door in week 6
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