Class Observations Quantified

Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) is an instructor observation protocol that logs how much time students and instructors are spending on different types of work in a classroom. I gave it a quick 15 minute review this morning.

The observer logs what students are doing (listening, answering instructor question, individual thinking, worksheet group work, etc) and what instructors are doing (lecturing, moving through classroom, 1 on 1 instruction, administration, etc). The protocol’s developers have distributed an easy-to-use tally sheet for logging data.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11.12.14 AM

A portion of the observation data sheet used by an observer using COPUS.

At the end of data collection/observation, you have quantified data for how the class, instructor included, spent their time. The result is a pie chart like so:


Andy followed up to say there’s now a web app that creates the graphs for you!

h/t Andy Rundquist


One thought on “Class Observations Quantified

  1. GORP ( is the tool that gives you a dashboard where each category is an easy button. It prompts you to do it every 2 minutes. Then it gives you a very nice time line where any comments you’ve entered are hover-able. I liked it a lot.

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