The Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP) is a customizable observation protocol can be used to produce robust and nuanced depictions of the dynamics that unfold among teachers, students, and technologies in the classroom. Based on theories of learning as an activity distributed among different actors and artifacts, the TDOP has been extensively field-tested and is being used by over 300 researchers, program evaluators, and professional developers to create detailed descriptions of what happens inside classrooms.
The data produced with the TDOP can be used for a variety of purposes including:
While many educators teach in similar ways, upon closer inspection there is considerable variation in how classroom dynamics unfold in different classrooms. With the TDOP it is possible to document these nuances of teaching at a much more fine-grained level than is possible with other observation protocols. Besides being a rigorously field-tested and research-based tool, the TDOP represents a methodological advance in the field by:
First take a look at the user guide and get acquainted with the protocol itself. The TDOP is available to use free of charge. Sign up as an administrator to create your own groups and individual studies.
The TDOP was largely adapted from Osthoff, E., Clune, W., Ferrare, J., Kretchmar, K., & White, P. (2009). Implementing immersion: Design, professional development, classroom enactment and learning effects of an extended science inquiry unit in an urban district. Madison: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research.
Hora, M.T. (2015). Toward a descriptive science of teaching: How the TDOP illuminates the multidimensional nature of active learning in postsecondary classrooms. Science Education.
Hora, M.T. & Ferrare, J.J. (2013). Instructional systems of practice: A multidimensional analysis of math and science undergraduate course planning and classroom teaching. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 22 (2), 212-257