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GTA Observation Report

Observer: GTA Observed:


Hannah Huber Ruthanne Hughes

Course: Date & Time of Observation:


English 102 1:15-2:30 Thursday, March 30

# of Students in Attendance: 19 / 22
Activities: (effectiveness of lecture, group work, short writing, etc.)
Strengths:
Ruthanne’s method for opening class was impressive. She had a question of the day that students answered
as she called roll. Her question for this day was “If you were offered a free drink from Starbucks, what would
it be?” Students responded enthusiastically to the question and it boosted the overall energy of the classroom.
I also thought her process of having student presentations of visual texts (detailed on following page) at the
start of each class period was helpful to students’ understanding of the course key concepts about rhetoric.

Suggestion:
Next time Ruthanne conducts a group exercise debate, I suggest splitting the class into two groups with two
different debate topics. Allow one half to observe the other half of the class as they debate. By having two
debates, it allows smaller groups for each side of the debate (4 total, rather than 2). I also think it would help
students understand the rules better if they were able to observe one another.

Management: (effective time and behavioral management, instructor preparedness, etc.)


Strengths:
Ruthanne clearly plans ahead. She was prepared for the day’s in-class activity with a prepared slide to
support her review of pertinent material and activity guidelines. During her opening review of material that
would inform their upcoming activity, Ruthanne did well to direct students to the textbook when discussion
faltered, which helped to stimulate the conversation.
She did well to control students’s behavior well during the in-class activity, which involved group
discussion.

Suggestion:
Provide incentive for those shy students to be more talkative and those disengaged students to actively
participate more. One way to do this is to remind students that class participation is an important portion of
their and is very much affected by their performance and involvement in group activities.

Delivery: (sufficient volume, instructional clarity, explicit opening and closing etc.)
Strengths:
Ruthanne began the class by reviewing deadlines and specifics for upcoming assignments. She did well to
clarify goals for group exercise. She did well to end class with a clarification of upcoming assignments. Her
volume was sufficient. During the opening exercise when students presented on visual rhetoric, Ruthanne
asked productive clarification questions and provided positive feedback.

Technology: (effective board, computer, handout, worksheet use, etc.)


Strengths:
Ruthanne made effective use of the classroom technology—using the projector to detail key terms,
assignment details and goals for in-class activity. She also made effective use of the board by jotting down
key concepts in her review of important material. She also had students present visual texts, which
encouraged students use of and familiarity classroom technology for presentations.
Summary of Class Activities:

1. Ruthanne began class by taking roll and having students answer the question of the day.
2. Two students presented visual texts to the class with the goal of identifying and discussing a particular
rhetorical strategy. Ruthanne asked followed up questions and provided feedback on each. Ruthanne
later told me that this is a practice she has been doing to start class throughout the semester.
3. Ruthanne then divided the class in half and held a mock debate. She played the role of moderator and
students were tasked with being either pro or con regarding an issue she posed to them. First,
Ruthanne held a brief class discussion on important course concepts that would inform the debate
exercise. She used the board and a projected powerpoint to review those concepts and then to lay out
the debate rules and procedures. After the debate was over, Ruthanne chose a winner and announced
that she would go over the debate performances during the next class period.
4. She closed the class by announcing upcoming deadlines.

Overall Assessment/Additional Remarks:

 Ruthanne is personable and friendly in the classroom. She identified students by name and seemed to
have a positive rapport with each one of them. Her students seemed respectful of her.
 She does well to provide friendly feedback to students’ contributions to in-class discussion.
 She manages the classroom space very well. She moves about the room and commands student
attention and participation.
 She prepares for and manages her class time effectively.
 She plans ahead, which allowed for a lot of visual aid to students through the use of technology.
 She did well to encourage teamwork among her students and help them learn communication skills
that helped them defer to one another, encourage one another’s ideas and to respect and listen to each
other’s speaking time.
 Overall, Ruthanne is an enthusiastic and adept instructor. She is extremely thoughtful and
professional in her preparation for class and her treatment of students.