So, you’re a Certified CLASS Observer. Now, what?

You recertify once a year to make sure you are staying true to the tool—that’s essential. But what happens between annual recertifications, during the course of each year? The data you collect is a crucial component of a comprehensive professional development plan and research. So, how can you really be sure you are conducting fair and accurate observations at all times? We have the answer for that: CLASS Calibration!

What is CLASS Calibration?

CLASS Calibration is a program designed to support Certified CLASS Observers as they conduct observations in the field, whether you code from videos or conduct live classroom observations. Participants will have access to view and code a single master coded video per session via their Teachstone dashboard. Once you submit your codes for the video, you'll receive immediate, automated feedback about their scoring. You can review the coding video as many times as you would like within their access window.

After watching the coding video, you'll receive access to a pre-recorded webinar, which presents the master codes for the video as well as the key interactions that support these codes.

Who should calibrate, and why?

CLASS Calibration is suited for both brand new observers as well as more experienced observers. Practice makes perfect; it provides new observers with an opportunity to practice coding a variety of classrooms and refine their observation and coding skills. It also gives more experienced observers an opportunity to refocus their CLASS lens and helps counteract coding biases developed in the field known as coder drift. After all, even observers who code frequently can fall off course from time to time.

Essentially, CLASS Calibration gives us the opportunity to gauge our reliability and realign ourselves with the CLASS tool as needed. It helps keep us honest, and when it comes to classroom evaluations, that’s important.

What other steps are you taking to ensure your classroom observations are accurate? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2014, but has since been updated to keep content accurate and interesting.

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