The Teaching Center’s Observation Protocol for Active Learning (OPAL) is the focus of an article in the May 2016 issue of theJournal of College Science Teaching. OPAL was developed by The Teaching Center as a part of the AAU-supported programs aimed at improving undergraduate STEM education. However, the tool can be applied in courses in all disciplines to create a visual timeline of instructor and student activity and interaction during a class session.
OPAL tracks coded activities to provide instructors with a “big-picture” view of what is happening—and when it is happening—during the observed class period. Reviewing the visual timeline of OPAL data enables faculty to think critically about when and how to integrate instructional strategies to achieve their objectives for student learning and interaction.
Frey, R. F., Fisher, B.A., Solomon, E.D., Leonard, D.A., Mutambuki, J.M , Cohen, C.A., Luo, J., & Pondugula, S. (2016). A visual approach to helping instructors integrate, document, and refine active learning. Journal of College Science Teaching, Vol. 45 (5), 20-26.