The Faculty Multiple Measures approach to evaluating language and communication includes Classroom Discourse Observation (CDO).
Classroom Observation of faculty was initiated in 1995 on a request only basis. During this time period, the service was provided in either of two formats: video recording or observation only (requiring notes of strengths and areas needing improvement). Following the observation, a questionnaire was administered to the students to gather information about their experience in the class. A meeting was scheduled with the faculty to discuss the observation, the students’ experiences and learning processes, and to make recommendations to the faculty about how to enhance student learning. The goal for the early offerings of Classroom Observations was to provide faculty insight into the efficacy of their teaching.
In 2000, an ASL Assessment checklist was implemented for the purpose of documenting and developing analyses of Classroom Observations, and that instrument’s modification continued for the next five years.
In May 2008, the Gallaudet faculty voted to replace the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI) with the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI). In addition, a multiple measures approach for evaluating faculty communication was established which includes the following measures:
The Faculty Welfare Committee was charged with implementing Classroom Observation and appointed a Faculty Ad Hoc Committee to develop a tool for Classroom Observation. The Ad Hoc Committee collaborated with ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES) which has been providing Classroom Observations for faculty on a “by request” basis since 1995. Both the Ad Hoc Committee and ASL-DES had developed checklists individually which were reviewed and combined.
In May 2010, the Senate passed a motion for a formative study, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was received. The data collection from this formative study led to changes to the checklist which is now referred to as the “Classroom Discourse Observation Checklist.”
At the February 13-15, 2013 Gallaudet Board of Trustees meeting, the board approved an amendment to the University Faculty Guidelines as follows: “a classroom discourse observation component will be implemented, effective immediately, in addition to the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview, in evaluating faculty sign language skills.”
Faculty who have participated in a Classroom Discourse Observation (CDO) have provided very positive feedback as to the benefit of this assessment. Classroom Discourse Observation (CDO) has enormous potential to assist faculty in improving the learning environment in the classroom.