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Class Observation Policy *1
Observing EALL Classes for Contract Renewal
Every year, EALL classes are observed by EALL faculty as part of contract renewal for probationary faculty, lecturers and GAs. This process is handled within each section and EALL does not encourage cross-section observation or invite outside people to observe EALL classes for this purpose.
Visiting EALL Classes for Non-Research Purposes
For procedures for visiting any EALL classes for non-research purposes, see EALL Policy and Procedure document (rev. 8/11) section “Classroom Visits for Non-Research Purposes,” (p. 8).
Observing EALL Classes for Research Purposes2
(This section is primarily addressed to non-EALL student researchers who make a request to observe EALL classes. However, the policies are applicable to any other visitor wishing to conduct research in EALL or solicit participants from EALL classes).
In principle, EALL does not encourage non-EALL faculty or other visitors to observe EALL classes for research purposes. However, if a request is made and it is determined that the research project falls within EALL’s mission and research goals, an exception can be made. In these cases, the following procedure must be followed:
- Obtain approval from the respective EALL Section Head and Language/Discipline Coordinator by submitting a research proposal/ agenda. This should include the following:
- A brief description of the study and the purpose for which the study is being used (a course paper, a scholarly paper, etc.).
- A brief description of the methodology to be used.
- Examples of any instruments to be used (if applicable).
- Information about what kind of access to EALL students the study requires (either access to specific EALL classes or access to student volunteers — see below for more information).
- A handout designed to attract students to participate in the study.
- A copy of the request for permission to be sent to EALL instructors (if applicable).
- A copy of the consent form(s) intended to be used.
- For students, an advising professor’s approval verifying that the design, instruments, and handouts meet with her/his approval (see below for more information).
- The proposal may be circulated to any number of EALL faculty, especially to instructors whose classes will be observed, for review and comments. Instructors of EALL classes have the right to decline class observations by outside visitors.
- EALL reserves the right to request a reformulation of the proposal, if there are any problems with the design of the study, or its effect on the Department or its students. If the request is rejected, the researcher may not proceed.
- Evidence of compliance with the CHS requirements must be demonstrated after approval by EALL (i.e. Section Head and Coordinator). If the study is exempted by the IRB (Institutional Review Board), EALL needs to be notified so (an email message with a ‘cc’ to researcher’s supervisor will suffice). If the study requires the approval of the CHS (Committee on Human Studies), the researcher will have to wait until s/he obtains the approval before s/he will be able to approach EALL instructors or students.
- There is a limit to the number of times any class section can be observed. Currently, the limit is two (2) class sessions. If a researcher would like to observe a class that has already had two observations (reserved or completed) during a given semester, s/he will need to find another class to observe.
- If class observation results in a research paper, the researcher must give instructors an opportunity for review and comments (or at least on those parts of the paper that relate to their class, their teaching, etc.) to ensure that the research represents the instructor and the class fairly and accurately.
- The researcher will consent to correcting any factual misrepresentations of the instructors, class, program or Department that are found by EALL (see attached form).
Access to EALL Test Data and Students
Access to EALL test data may only be granted if the study addresses EALL needs (i.e. mission and research goals) and has been approved by the Department (i.e. Section Head and Coordinator). When using the test data for research purposes, evidence of compliance with the CHS requirements must be demonstrated.
Access to student volunteers does not require departmental approval because EALL classroom visitations or access to email lists of EALL students are excluded here. Researchers should draft a one-page handout that is addressed to potential volunteers, at a level that is easily understandable for the students being solicited. The handout should explain what the students need to volunteer for (in general terms), where the data gathering procedures will take place, how long it will take, what language insights EALL students can gain from participating, how volunteers can contact the researchers, and what compensation they will receive. The supervisor/unit advising the study must approve the handout and the EALL Section Head, Coordinator, and instructors should be notified as a courtesy procedure.
Courtesy Copies of the Paper
Upon completion of the research paper, the researcher should provide EALL with one hard copy and one electronic/digital copy (submit via email attachments). EALL may post a pdf version of the paper on our Web site so it can be accessible to other researchers and to EALL staff. Unless we receive a specific request from the researcher not to publish a paper on our Web site, we will assume that consent has been given.
1. This document is a modification and amendment of the “Classroom Observation” (pp.8-9) in the EALL Policy and Procedure” document (rev. Aug 2011).
2. The following language has been adapted, with permission, from policies of UH Manoa’s English Language Institute.