participants to initiate sign-ups for peer observations would work great in a faculty meeting.I called it “speed dating” because they really were setting a date –to do a peer observation!My previous experiences facilitating successful panel discussions led me to believe that a panel would be a good method to use here. In an effort to create a panel that represented a diversity of functions and practitioners, I ended up with too many panelists and, consequently, an ineffective exercise.
I had set up a Google Doc for teachers to post when they would be teaching a unit and would welcome peer observers so that other teachers could sign up to visit. During each rotation, meet with a different teacher to exchange brief information about at least one Ub D: -Title/Subject/Grade Level -Transfer Goal -Understandings -21 Room Set up: The expectation was that by the end of the meeting, everyone would have signed up to observe at least one other teacher, and have at least one person coming to observe them.
This idea looked good on paper, but it was just too messy, I think, and so no one was signing up either way. Here is how it worked: Teachers were instructed to prepare to share one of their units. In reality, most teachers came away with 3-4 peer observations to participate in.
In preparation for this event, students were asked to work in pairs to brainstorm questions for the practitioners/panelists.
Each pair turned in a list of three-five questions ranked by their specific interests.
Teachers in our DODEA grant project (K-12) have worked all year to design four in-depth units using the process.
Most of these units will be implemented sometime this semester.It is important to pay attention to time during the activity.Each round has to be long enough for the students to gather some information and short enough to get to each panelist during the activity. Most important is to leave time for reflection for the students.Here’s how I set up my speed dating model this semester.Twelve pairs of students asked the same questions to twelve different practitioners, essentially receiving twelve different insights on one particular issue in the same amount of time used in a traditional panel discussion.(We are fortunate that our grant is paying for sub time for these peer observations to happen.) Below are the documents I created for the activity.