Open Classroom initiative

Welcome to the Open Classroom initiative.

Suitable for: academic and professional service staff at the University of Birmingham who teach.

Registration is currently closed. We will communicate registration dates for the 2021/22 academic year as soon as these are confirmed.

'My favourite part was…“Seeing - and enjoying! - a new discipline and a different teaching style, with different tools and different preoccupations'. (Anonymous, 2020)

Looking ahead to the academic year 2021/22, we will continue to focus online teaching and if able, facilitate face-to-face observations.

Taking part in the Open Classroom will provide participants a safe space to develop and enhance their teaching practice. If you choose to take part in the initiative you will be able to observe, or have observed a particular element of online teaching practice that you would like to learn about or showcase.

We are also encourage colleagues at the university using online platforms such as newly developed Canvas courses, or are involved in creating new resources to facilitate online learning to use the Open Classroom as an opportunity to receive feedback on these. To support those who want to be involved in reviewing this kind of material, we also encourage you to communicate this with members of your group. Checking for consistency of Canvas pages after the release of the University Canvas Framework 2020/21 may be an example of this.

Expectations of those taking part

Those registering will be placed into groups of 3 and where possible, we will match colleagues based on the type of teaching that you would like to observe/showcase e.g. synchronous/asynchronous. It is expected that those who opt to both observe and be observed do so at least once during the term. This is not a requirement for those who opt to observe only.

Please note that the Open Classroom is not a replacement of current University guidelines on peer observation within Schools and Departments, but acts as a complementary initiative to current practice of this kind.