Classroom Observation Methodologies to Assess Student Engagement
One of three complementary measures of student motivation will be classroom observations of student engagement. We have adapted two existing observation protocols to achieve this goal. The modified at-task observation (MATO) protocol is used to code and record individual student behaviors using a carefully defined set of characteristics that quantify student engagement. MATO observations provide a dynamic, quantitative measure of the level of student engagement during classroom activities and can be utilized in lecture or laboratory setting. MATO observations are completed and analyzed (in real-time) using a standard spreadsheet program on a laptop computer. Preliminary reliability tests indicate a high level of inter-rater agreement. The Verbal Flow Observation (VFO) protocol captures student and instructor contributions and interaction during whole-class discussion using a set of predefined characteristics. VFO observations provide a quantifiable record of student engagement during discussion and compliment MATO observations. Sample MATO and VFO data sets will be shared along with potential analysis techniques.