Confidential Teaching Consultations

Teaching Consultation Services

Full-time faculty members may take advantage of CAT's confidential feedback services. Complete this request form to schedule a consultation on any aspect of your teaching or to arrange a classroom observation. For observations, please schedule ten business days in advance. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Learn more about the practical tools and resources we provide below.

Classroom Observation

Informal classroom observations provide an opportunity for instructors to reflect on and refine their craft in collaboration with experienced teaching consultants. Any information gathered through this process is confidential and will not be used for any purpose other than the enhancement of the instructor’s teaching.

Each observation involves a three-part process:

1. A pre-observation meeting in which the instructor and consultant discuss the goals of the course, the particular class session to be observed, and what the instructor would like the consultant to look for during the observation.

2. The class visit.

3. A post-observation meeting in which the instructor and consultant discuss the class session observed and other aspects of teaching.

Request a classroom observation.


Classroom Observation with Video Recording

This service offers faculty members and teaching graduate students an opportunity to closely examine a video recording of their teaching, whether in the classroom, laboratory, lecture hall, or studio. Following a consultation, the video will be given to the instructor to keep and the original source material erased. The Center does not keep copies of video-recorded observations.

Instructors can also arrange for the Center to video-record lectures and discussions. The Center cannot make recordings for the purposes of job application or tenure review portfolios. Request a video-recorded observation.


Mid-Semester Feedback (with SGA)

Gathering mid-semester student feedback is useful for identifying opportunities for instructional improvement. Many instructors have found that simple changes early on can help motivate students and enhance learning. The feedback collected by CAT is shared only with the instructor, who may use the information however she or he sees fit.

One of the procedures the Center uses to collect detailed and candid reactions from students is Small Group Analysis (SGA). Because SGA requires students to respond to evaluative prompts in small groups followed by a class discussion, the feedback elicited is more richly considered, corroborated, and elaborated than commentary typically provided by post-semester questionnaires. During the discussion, the consultant will also ask follow-up questions to achieve a deeper understanding of the views being expressed. The prompts and questions given to students during SGA are developed to suit individual instructor concerns and goals during a pre-visit consultation.

The results of a Small Group Analysis are strictly confidential. The consultant will provide the instructor—and only the instructor—with a written report of the results to be discussed during a post-visit consultation.

Request mid-semester feedback.

Course Planning

CAT consultants are available to help faculty design new courses or revise existing ones. Consultations may cover any issue related to planning the semester, including:

  • Clarifying goals for student learning
  • Effective course organization
  • Developing new approaches to previously taught subject matter
  • Methods for assessing student learning
  • Designing learner-centered syllabi
  • Innovative teaching strategies
  • Creating engaging assignments, projects, and activities

Submit a request for this confidential service.


Confidentiality Statement

It is the policy of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching to respect the confidentiality of the consultation process. All correspondence and information associated with our office is marked as confidential and securely filed. Center staff and consultants will not share your private information except to confirm, when asked, that you have taken advantage of our service. The Center's feedback process has no bearing on promotion or tenure decisions and is in no way associated with standard departmental evaluative reports.