Employee Observation Design

The Learning Center was one of few places that had a formal observation set up for their student employees hired as tutors. There were two major issues with the process.

  1. The ratio of tutors to qualified observers was so big that observations were difficult to manage and often times feedback was given so late that students receiving tutoring that semester would get no benefit from a tutors improvement.
  2. The open nature of the observation caused more confusion than it did clarity. Too many challenges were presented at one time. Tutors found goals hard to focus on because they were not simple enough.

When reviewing literature we found that there were no published instruments that actually observed a tutor in action. We came up with the idea of looking into medical school research. The theory was that when a surgeon does their first open heart surgery they are observed and guided not just observed.

When we redesigned the observation process we wanted to give tutors something that they were invested in from the start. So we streamlined the experience so that the tutors took a self-assessment which we created and was statistically reliable. The self-assessment was followed by scoring, an action plan, and then guided observation and feedback. In the action plan tutors chose two items from the self-assessment that they wanted to work on. They set goals creating specific actions that they would follow to improve the items they chose to work on The beauty was in the concreteness of the self-assessment which basically acted as a script for critical moves in tutoring.


Observation mock up

guided observation form mock up