The LTC Student Fellows

  • Serve as student observers for faculty who wish to get student feedback on their teaching. In partnership with the faculty member, they will attend class sessions and provide confidential feedback targeted to the professor’s specific teaching goals.
  • Serve as liaisons between students and the LTC by collaborating with student groups to increase student involvement in LTC events ensuring that students’ perspectives and experiences are reflected in the LTC’s mission and programming.
  • Partner with faculty on their teaching and learning projects and take part in LTC pedagogical development events such as syllabus workshops and reading discussions.
  • Support the LTC in its ongoing work to develop useful programming for both faculty and students, expand the fellows’ own role in the Center, and select future fellows.

The Student Observer Program

The Student Observer Program, which has been available at Carleton since the 1970s, is a cornerstone of LTC activities. Primarily a resource for the professors, it also serves as a very practical, experimental, and paid means for students to reflect on teaching, classroom interaction, and learning.

Purpose

The purpose of the Student Observer program is to provide faculty with trained students who will sit in on their classes and discuss observations, insights, and questions about the teaching and learning in a course. The program has worked successfully for faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines and in various stages of their careers. The point of the program is to give faculty the benefit of a trained student’s perspective on a course as the course is developing.

How it Works

Professors request an observer for a particular course. A student is assigned to attend that professor’s class (once or multiple times) and provide feedback on areas in which the teacher wishes more information. Professors often ask observers to provide feedback regarding student-teacher interaction, such as how long he or she waits for a response after asking a question or whether or not questions seem to be inviting open responses. Both lecture and discussion classes can be observed for clarity of presentation and levels of energy and enthusiasm in both students and teacher. 

Participants say…

How to Get Involved

Faculty: Interested faculty should complete the online request form. Professors are paired with student observers, who are paid to attend classes and meet regularly to discuss their confidential observations. Faculty are expected to provide goals for the observers by directing attention to particular issues or concerns in their teaching or the course. Having an additional set of eyes and ears in the classroom helps to inform faculty decisions, build confidence in their teaching strategies, and further their reflections about the often complicated dynamics of the educational process.

Students: Are you interested in observing classes? Become a Learning and Teaching Center Fellow! View a complete description of the position.