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Return to Observations

Online Observation Guidelines

The policies and procedures for observing ELI online classes are similar to those for observing our regular, “on-campus” classes.

Is it for an SLS course assignment, or is it a short-term observation?

Before approaching an ELI online teacher to ask about observing ELI online classes, it’s important to determine the purpose of your observation. Is it for an SLS course assignment, or is it truly just an observation? If it is for an SLS course assignment, or if you wish to observe for an extended period, you will need to contact the ELI Associate Director, Priscilla Faucette ( to get permission. If it is for research purposes, you will also need to submit a proposal to the ELI Associate Director and follow the policies and procedures for conducting research in the ELI. In that case, please see the ELI research guidelines.

Guidelines for observing ELI online classes

If your observation is not for research purposes, follow these steps:

  1. Check the observation sign-up sheet in front of the Program Assistants’ office (Moore 587) to see which teachers and online courses are available to be observed.
  2. Contact the teacher to get permission to observe their class. Be sure to explain the purpose of your observation, your interests and when you would like to observe. Contact information for ELI teachers is posted outside the Program Assistants’ office (Moore 587).
  3. Read the Guidelines and Etiquette for Observers of ELI Classes. Please note that a few of the points described in these guidelines do not apply to online classes (e.g., where to sit in the classroom). However, many also apply to the online context.
  4. Add your name to the observation sign-up sheet (Moore 587).
  5. If the teacher agrees to let you observe the class, make an appointment to meet with them prior to the observation.
    1. During this meeting, the teacher will show a few things about Laulima, the course website, and how to log on.
    2. The instructor will assign a “guest account” that allows you to log in and browse around the course site.
    3. Together, you should also decide on a set time period during which you will have access to the course website (usually one week). After that, your access to the website will be removed.
  6. Meet the teacher after the observation for a debriefing.

A Few Points:

If you’d like to observe the course for more than one time period (e.g., once during Week 6 and once during Week 12 of the semester), you’ll need to sign up and go through the process again.

IMPORTANT: Any materials, lesson plans, assignments, etc. found on the course website are the property of the ELI. Therefore, they are not to be altered or distributed or used for purposes other than those of the ELI course.

If you have any questions about any of these policies, please contact the ELI Associate Director, Priscilla Faucette (