[Sekido’s FFP Journal Vol 7] DAY 7 “How to Observe Classes”

DAY 7 Microteaching Session (2)
・Goals and Objectives
・Mini-lectures and Feedback

DAY 7 was an overall summary of the whole program, where the participants conducted mini-lectures for the second time by making an improvement on the lectures they had conducted on DAY 6. Many participants were successful in reducing lecture materials to be conducted within a limited time of six minutes and focusing on what they really wanted the students to learn about. Every single mini-lecture underwent a remarkable improvement, which clearly showed the participants’ learning and development.

I gave feedback to the participants on their mini-lectures on DAY 6 and DAY 7. I would like to share with you what I realized through the activity.

1. The necessity of a perspective of “Does this activity fit the learning objective?” or “Is this learning objective appropriate?” instead of “If I were the instructor, I would…”

When I observed classes conducted by other instructors and trainees, I always thought in a way like, “If I were the teacher, I would incorporate an intriguing activity here,” or “Why doesn’t he/she pose comprehension check questions to make sure if the students retained the knowledge?” These are from the perspective of “If I were the instructor, I would…” However, this perspective is likely to make you focus only on “teaching techniques.”

As I mentioned in the Journal Vol 6, experts’ perspective focuses on the “structure of knowledge” instead of “teaching techniques.” Keeping the “structure of knowledge” in mind helps you focus on “learning objectives” by thinking in a way like, “Is each element necessary and sufficient for the learning objectives? (Are there any missing or redundant elements?)” or “Does the class structure help the students accomplish the learning objectives?”

“How should the instructor structure the class based on the learning objectives he/she set?” “First of all, is this learning objective really appropriate?” These questions help you give feedback on the class you observe from a metacognitive perspective.

2. Good learning objectives equal a well-structured class.

When designing a 6-min mini-lecture, it is further necessary to thoroughly examine the “learning objectives” compared to creating usual classes. You may regard the “learning objectives” as a trunk and “learning activities” as branches and leaves. We are likely to start with setting “learning activities” (e.g., “I want to talk about these things, so I need this activity,” or “I want to incorporate these kinds of activities.”) when designing a class, but this is like creating parts without a design for a class and aligning them without particular reasons, which is likely to end in an “unstructured class.”

The art of class design is to keep in mind “backward design”: thoroughly examine “what you want the students to learn about in your class,” then design a class that helps them learn the target topics, and finally, create necessary parts or specific learning activities. After creating learning activities, make sure that they perfectly align with the objectives again. That makes your class slimline.


I myself would like to design a simple and concise (i.e., slimline) class based on the stimuli and learning I got from this second microteaching session.

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