Classroom Evaluation Procedure
The following information provides guidance to the
evaluator on conducting a
classroom evaluation and using the evaluation checklist.
Scheduled and Unscheduled Evaluations
Scheduled and unscheduled evaluations should be used in
combination in order to provide instructors with feedback that is
valuable to them. The following discussion provides guidelines on when
to conduct both types of evaluations, who should evaluate, and how to
use the results.
A scheduled evaluation is an evaluation where the
instructor or instructor trainee knows in advance that an evaluation
is being conducted. The following guidelines apply to scheduled
evaluations. Scheduled evaluations allow the instructor to prepare for
the evaluation. It may also allow the instructor time to prepare a
“show” that may not be typical of usual performance. Certification,
monthly, and quarterly evaluations should be scheduled. Personnel
designated as instructor evaluators are the only persons qualified to
conduct certification, monthly, and quarterly evaluations.
An unscheduled evaluation permits the evaluator to
observe the instructor in a normal mode and can result in a realistic
appraisal of the instruction. Unscheduled evaluations may cause an
instructor trainee to feel threatened which may cause them to fail to
perform as well as usual. Because of this, unscheduled evaluations
should not be conducted until after the instructor is certified. At
this point, they should become standard and therefore expected by all
instructors. Course supervisors, are persons who may conduct
unscheduled evaluations. The qualifications of the person conducting
the evaluation will determine whether the evaluation is technique or
technical. The evaluator conducting the unscheduled evaluation may use
the evaluation forms or if it is less formal, similar to a spot check,
the form is not necessary. In both cases, the instructor will be
provided feedback as to their performance. There are no preset
requirements for the number of unscheduled evaluations conducted on an
instructor. Supervisors should establish a time table, frequency
schedule and record keeping requirements for the unscheduled
evaluation program. This section was added to provide procedures for
conducting unscheduled evaluations and to stress their importance with
the new evaluation procedures.
The following is a list of other occasions where
evaluations should be scheduled:
- Evaluations conducted during the instructor trainee’s
training period. Since the primary focus during this
period is to become technically proficient, the certified course
instructor assigned to train the instructor trainee need not be an
instructor evaluator. However, they must be able to provide the
instructor trainee feedback on instructional technique as well as
- Evaluations used to qualify the
instructor to teach additional material. Since the
primary focus is on technical expertise, the evaluator need not be
an instructor evaluator; they must however, be a subject matter
expert in that area.
- Evaluations of instructors who are
having difficulty developing their technical skills or
instructional technique. Since the instructor has already
been identified during a previous evaluation as having difficulty,
it is best to have an instructor evaluator work with them if the
problem is with technique or an instructor evaluator knowledgeable
in the subject matter if the problem is with technical expertise.
Preparing for the Evaluation
Remember that the purpose of an evaluation is to improve
instruction and provide feedback to the instructor. When preparing for
a scheduled evaluation, the evaluator shall:
- Contact the instructor to be evaluated several days prior to the
- The evaluator will explain the procedures, verify the date of
the evaluation, and try and put the instructor at ease.
- Review the course materials for the specific lesson to be
Conducting the Evaluation
An instructor’s technique and technical expertise may be
evaluated at the same time by an individual evaluator provided the
evaluator is qualified to evaluate both. If this is the case, however,
it will only be counted as one individual evaluation. If the
evaluation is for technique only, the behavior statement “Is
the information technically accurate”, will be marked “NA.”
The procedures for evaluating both technique and technical expertise
are the same. When conducting the evaluation, the evaluator should:
- Arrive before the lesson starts and locate a suitable place from
which to observe.
- When possible, evaluate the instructor on each element on the
checklist. This is normally accomplished by observing the instructor
for one complete lesson or at least one period of instruction.
- Observe the instructor in learning situations involving as many
different methods and media as possible.
- Evaluate the instructor’s attitude and emphasis on safety and a
safe learning environment.
- Debrief the instructor.
- Schedule a follow-up debrief with the instructor. The debrief
may be done immediately or later depending on the results of the
evaluation and the class/instructor schedule.
- Provide the instructor with a complete copy of the evaluation
after the debrief. This copy will be used by the instructor as the
basis for his or her personal instructor improvement plan.
Standards for Grading the Classroom Evaluation
The checklist contains a list of behaviors that should
be observed during a lesson. The following guidelines are provided
for evaluating each behavior and for determining the instructor's
overall performance. Evaluators must be thoroughly familiar with
these grading criteria prior to conducting any evaluations.
Step 1 - Evaluate Each Behavior Listed on
Each behavior will be evaluated using one of the
YES – Satisfactorily completed
NI - Needs Improvement
NO - Not Observed
NA - Not Applicable
For a behavior to be evaluated successfully it
must be consistent with the behavior described. When an element is
evaluated positively it means that the instructor has complied with
the behavior as it is described. When the behavior observed is
partially, but not completely, as described in the criteria, then it
can be improved upon. This does not mean that the instructor did
poorly in this behavior; it simply means there is room for
improvement. When the instructor had the opportunity to perform a
behavior but did not, it indicates poor or Unsatisfactory
performance on that particular behavior. Anytime the behavior is not
consistent with the guidelines provided in the section, the behavior
will be unsatisfactory. If the behavior is not observed and is not
applicable to the evaluation, mark all statements evaluated as NA
and will be accompanied by specific comments on the back of the
Appearance is an important item
to consider during an evaluation. There are no behavior statements
listed for appearance on the checklist; however, the evaluator will
evaluate the instructor’s appearance as per local command policy.
Step 2 — Provide Remarks for Each Behavior.
This section should provide the instructor with
specific guidance on how to improve their technique for a technique
evaluation; this means the comments should not be limited to
negative ones. If the instructor has performed well in a particular
behavior or category, it should be noted. When the purpose is to
evaluate technical expertise, the evaluator must list those areas
that were not presented accurately.
Step 3 — Debrief of the
Instructors will be debriefed on the evaluator’s
comments as soon as possible. Debriefing should emphasize both
positive areas and areas that need improvement. If the evaluation is
an unscheduled evaluation, a debrief may or may not be conducted.
This requirement will be established by the commanding officer.
Step 4 — Instructor
The instructor will develop an instructor
improvement plan for Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory behaviors. It is
the responsibility of the evaluator to provide constructive comments
for this plan and to follow up if additional evaluations are
required. If additional space is needed for remarks on the
Instructor Improvement Plan, a page may be attached.
The INTRODUCTION sets the stage
for the lesson. It must be presented in an interesting and motivating
manner for the students to be prepared to learn. The introduction may
consist of a brief overview of the material. The important issue is to
prepare the student to learn. The following is a list of behaviors
that should be observed.
- Displayed Course and Topic Title —
This will be written on the board or displayed in some manner.
Verbally covering the behavior is recommended if this is the first
session in the lesson. All other occasions you may write or display
as indicated above.
- Introduced Self — The instructor should
provide background information about themselves to establish
credibility with the students. The introduction is an excellent
place for the instructor to use meaningful, carefully prepared
personal experiences that enhance the lesson. One personal
experience is generally adequate for the introduction.
- Explained How the Material Fits Into the Overall
Course — This requires the instructor to be knowledgeable
of what has been taught and what is ahead. The instructor should
explain the importance of this material not only to the course but
to the students’ future jobs. The instructor should point out the
benefits of the information to be presented and how the students
might use this information in the future.
- Explained Objectives to the Students — The
instructor should explain that the objectives are not just for the
lesson, but should also be the students’ objectives. Reading or
having the students read the objectives is not adequate.
Objectives should be explained as to how they apply to what the
students are about to learn and what they must do to accomplish
the objective. The instructor should check with the students to
determine their degree of understanding.
- Stressed the Importance of Safety — Safety
must be addressed at the beginning of each lesson, where
applicable. If safety is not a factor, mark “NA.”
- Explained the Importance of Satisfactory
Performance — The instructor should stress to the students
how important it is to them to accomplish the objectives. This
should be kept on a positive note rather than stressing punishment.
- Motivated Students to Do Their Best — The
instructor should create interest in the subject matter by
relating past experiences. The instructor should motivate the
students to take pride in their work and to do their best. The
instructor should tell the students to ask questions and to get
involved. The instructor should make the students feel at ease
about asking questions when they do not understand something.
The PRESENTATION deals with how well the
instructor was prepared to teach and how well the material was
delivered. While personal characteristics will vary between
instructors, several tools of the trade can be used by everyone to
enhance the effectiveness of the lesson.
- Lesson Plan Has Been Personalized —
Every lesson plan should contain some personalization. The extent
and amount of personalization will vary based on the instructor’s
level of experience, command policy, and the nature of the material.
Simply highlighting the existing material is usually not enough.
Examples of personalization include: Motivating statements in the
introduction; personal experiences shared when appropriate;
annotated areas to stress safety or some other important point or
questions to ask the students, etc.
- Classroom and Materials Are Ready for Training —
The classroom should be physically ready for the students to
receive training (i.e., adequate seating arrangements; training
equipment in good working condition and available as required;
materials such as transparencies, slides, charts, also in good
working condition and accurate).
- Information Technically Accurate — This is to
be completed by an evaluator knowledgeable in the subject matter
being evaluated. When the evaluator is not qualified to evaluate
technical expertise, the evaluator should mark “NA.”
- Taught From the Discussion Points — The
instructor must follow the discussion points as approved in the
lesson plan. Material may not be omitted or
- Used the Lesson Plan Effectively — The lesson
plan should be used as a guide, not as a book to
be read to the students. Excessive reading from a lesson plan may
indicate a lack of preparation or confusion with the subject
matter. When an important point must be read, it should be both
taught and read to the students for emphasis.
- Transitioned and Chained Material Effectively —
Transitions are statements that allow the instructor to
move through the lesson and signal the students that the
instructor is progressing to a new point. To be effective, the
transitions should: mention the point just discussed; relate that
point to the objective; and introduce the next point.
- Chaining Material - Means the instructor
links material together in a meaningful manner. Chaining may occur
by linking material previously taught with the present material.
Chaining may also occur by linking the present material with what
will be taught later in the course.
- Used Questioning Techniques effectively —
All questions must be phrased clearly and concisely. Answers to
questions asked by the student must be complete and accurate. If
the instructor does not know the answer, they should say so and
get back to the student. Questions should be used to get students
involved in the lesson. Several different types of questions and
questioning techniques should be used during a presentation. The
instructor should ask questions that promote thought and
discussion as well as questions that are directed to the average
level student – not too simple or too complex. The instructor
should avoid stifling the discussion. This may occur when
inadequate time is allowed for the students to respond. The
instructor should not answer their own questions when students are
not responding. The instructor should restate or rephrase the
question when the students appear to be confused or are not
responding to the question. The instructor must not embarrass a
student who gives an incorrect answer. This discourages further
- Used Training Aids Effectively —
Transparencies, wall charts, movies, films, slides, etc., must be
used effectively to receive the full benefit. The instructor must
make the training aid visible to all students. In the absence of
other training aids, the instructor should make adequate use of
the chalk or white board.
- Maintained Proper Eye Contact — Eye contact
lets the students know the instructor is interested in them. It
allows for nonverbal feedback from the students. Excessive reading
from the lesson or talking to the board prevents the instructor
from maintaining eye contact.
- Displayed Enthusiasm — The instructor must be
positive and interested in the subject. The instructor should
capture the student’s attention in such a way that the student
feels that the material is critical to success.
- Used Gestures Effectively — Gestures should
be used to stress a point, convey a thought or emotion or to
reinforce an oral expression. Excessive or inappropriate gestures
may be distracting. Movement should be natural, equal and
meaningful in the classroom.
- Maintained a Positive, Professional Attitude —
The instructor should display a sincere concern for student
comprehension. Intimidation, profanity, and off-color remarks will
result in an unsatisfactory evaluation. To project
professionalism, the instructor should present a smart, concise,
meaningful presentation. The instructor should not answer
questions with “That’s not important." Loyalty to the organization
must be exhibited. Instructors should never say, “I don’t know
much about this, but here goes.”
- Used Time effectively —- The instructor
should keep the lesson moving. Wasting time or dragging out
material is ineffective and boring. Moving through the material
too rapidly is also ineffective.
- Avoided Distracting Mannerisms — If the
mannerism is distracting to the evaluator, this behavior should be
marked. Examples of possible distracting mannerisms include:
playing with a dry erase marker, hands in pockets, excessive use
of gestures, etc.
- Used Communication Skills Effectively —
A good voice has three important characteristics: reasonably
pleasant (quality), easily understood (intelligibility), and
expresses differences in meaning (variety).
- Quality includes not only the sound of the
voice but the feelings projected when the instructor speaks. The
vocal quality can convey sincerity and enthusiasm but may also
convey anger and boredom. The instructor’s voice should always
be positive, enthusiastic, and sincere.
- Intelligibility refers to the following
elements. Articulation is the precision and clarity with which
the instructor speaks. Pronunciation refers to the customary way
of pronouncing a word. Pronunciation acceptable in informal
conversation may be substandard when presenting a lesson.
Vocalized pause is the name given to syllables “a,” “uh,” “um.”
A few vocalized pauses are natural and do not distract; too many
impede the communication and learning process. Instructors must
avoid the over use of vocalized pauses. Stock expressions, such
as “OK," “like” and “you know” should also be avoided.
Instructors must strive to use proper grammar at all times. When
an evaluator marks this category the statements provided in the
remarks section should encourage the instructor to use the
proper grammar. Improper use of grammar may reduce the
- Variety includes a variation in voice rate,
volume, force, pitch, and emphasis.
- Maintained Flexibility — The instructor
should be open to discussions that enhance the lesson but should
not lose sight of the lesson. The instructor should be available
to the students after class to discuss their thoughts when too
much time is being spent in areas not related to the lesson.
- Used Personal Experiences or Examples to Stress
Material — Personal experiences must be meaningful to the
subject taught and should not be used excessively. This may
distract from the material being taught. Examples can be used
throughout the lesson and should be used when the students appear
confused or do not understand.
- Explained Material Clearly — The instructor
should explain the material to a level the student can understand.
If students appear to be confused, the material should be
explained in a different manner in order to reach the students.
To evaluate INSTRUCTOR and STUDENT INTERACTION,
evaluators should observe the students as well as the instructor.
- Established and Maintained Student
Attention — The instructor should know how to get the
attention of the student and keep it. Personal experiences, examples
and overhead questions are all good attention getters. To maintain
attention, the instructor must present the material in a way that
the students can understand. The instructor should know the audience
and teach to it. The instructor should learn the names of the
students and be sensitive to their moods and concerns. The evaluator
should be aware of the attention levels of the students. Are they
sleeping, taking notes, talking among themselves, etc.?
- Encouraged Student Participation — The
instructor should give the students a chance to interact and
should solicit their inputs and should allow and encourage student
participation. The instructor should ask questions to involve the
students. Simply saying “I encourage your questions.” in the
Introduction is not enough.
- Checked for Student Comprehension — The
instructor should ask various types of questions during the lesson
to check for understanding. Waiting until the summary to ask
questions is not effective. These types of questions should check
to see if the students understand the materials. This may include
recall type questions but must include some comprehensive
questions as well.
- Established and Maintained Proper Instructor and
Student Relationship — The instructor should stress the
importance of the individual student but should always be clearly
in charge. The instructor who loses control of the class should be
rated unsatisfactory on that lesson.
To evaluate the SUMMARY, the
evaluator must ensure that the instructor checked for student
achievement of the objectives.
- Related Objectives to the Lesson —
Since the objectives are what the student — is trying to accomplish,
the instructor must relate the objectives to the lesson.
- Summarized Lesson Properly — The instructor
must summarize the material in the lesson at least once and maybe
more to ensure student understanding. When or how often the summary
is conducted is not the issue; rather, did the instructor summarize,
and was the summary effective. Summaries may occur at the end of the
lesson where objectives are used as an outline. They may occur when
the instructor is trying to maintain continuity within a lesson or
when trying to highlight areas of importance. They may be used when
teaching points are long or complex. Summaries of the previously
taught material may occur at the beginning of the next instructional
lesson or when a lesson is not completed in the same training day,
it may be presented prior to introducing new material. The type of
summary used is determined by the instructor and will vary based on
- Questions Checked Student Understanding — The
instructor should ask questions that help determine if the students
understand the material. Questions should be thought provoking and
related to the objective(s).
- Emphasized the Importance of Safety —
Instructors must continually stress safety in the
Introduction, Presentation, and Summary
when safety is a factor in the lesson.