Q: What is OPTIC?
A: The Classroom Observation Working Group has been working on developing a classroom observation tool for use in a POGIL classroom. The instrument, which is modeled from TDOP (Hora, 2013), COPUS (Smith et al, 2013), and OPAL (Frey et al, 2016), is a behavior observation tool. OPTIC codes have been chosen to capture typical behavior of instructor and student behaviors in a POGIL classroom.
In OPTIC, both the instructor and student behaviors are marked in two minute intervals. One section of OPTIC describes the POGIL phase being used during that time interval, e.g., active reading, guided learning, or reporting out. The observation tool also focuses on the amount and type of interaction students have with each other and with the instructor; e.g., instructor talking to learning team, students interacting with each other within a learning team, or learning teams interacting with other learning teams. T
he group is also developing a visual timeline modeled from the OPAL timeline (Frey et al, 2016). This timeline is in the form of a chronological timeline displaying all the codes marked during the observation in the interval in which they occurred. This timeline is a “big-picture” view of the type and position of activities or events are occurring in the classroom. This visual timeline gives the instructor a snapshot view of the entire class session and is an intuitive way of reflecting on one’s teaching.
—Courtesy of Gina Frey