What Is an Observation Checklist?

US Department of Education/CC-BY 2.0

An observation checklist is a list of questions that an observer will be looking to answer when they are doing a specific observation of a classroom. This checklist is often given to the teacher to ensure that there is clear communication between the teacher, the students and the observer of the classroom.

An observation is generally done in a classroom to ensure that the teacher is using the proper teaching methods and that the students are learning in the best environment possible. An observation is not made to criticize a teacher, but is meant to help the teacher improve on a variety of things that may not be done in the most efficient way possible. Teachers should always warn students that there will be an observer in the classroom and should be open about the purpose of the observer. Doing this will ensure that the students are not intimidated or scared of the observer and that they will act in the same way that they normally do in the classroom. The observation checklist will include questions relating to, for example, the timings of lesson plans, the amount of time that students are given to complete lessons or activities, and ways in which the teacher tells the students that they are almost out of time.