Site Visits

Site visit overview #

Indiana University colleagues who make site visits to instructors based in the high school serve an important function for Advance College Project (ACP). The site visitor serves as the verification of the academic link between IU and the high school and is in the position of determining whether the instructor needs assistance implementing the course.

The site visit provides two opportunities: 

  • Through site visits, ACP has contact with the participating high schools and offers support to their instructors.
  • ACP visits facilitate communication among the site visitor, the instructor, ACP students, the school and the school and university. 

Building on the success of using virtual tools and new approaches to site visits over the past couple of years, ACP will implement the updated guidelines moving forward.

For all sites visits:

  • Consistently collect evidence of graded student work from instructors (before, during, or after viewing class sessions) and provide appropriate feedback to assure alignment of course expectations and student learning outcomes.
  • Document the comparison and feedback in the online site visit form.
  • Continue to follow the general NACEP guidelines for site visits and document where possible:
  • Instructor's knowledge and understanding of the topic
  • Strength of instruction
  • Extent that the course content is representative of the campus course
  • Classroom atmosphere which encourages learning and an exchange of information
  • Student interest and involvement; and
  • Grading policies, assessments, & criteria for grade 

When to use Virtual Site Visits?

  • For established ACP instructors who have already had an in-person site visit
  • For new ACP instructors whose location or situation lends itself to a virtual visit – Note: This option may require additional time/sessions via zoom or phone to assure instructor’s preparedness and comfort in offering course.
  • When additional visits are required or requested by the instructor or site visitor

When to use In-person Site Visits?
  • For new ACP instructors
  • When virtual site visits are not feasible, due to limited technology, school restrictions, schedule, etc.
  • If an issue warrants the site visitor to be in the classroom
  • If the instructor and/or school requests/requires

Onboarding New Site Visitors:
  • Site visitors (including, IU regional faculty members, retired ACP instructors, eligible graduate students) need to be made aware of the roles, responsibilities, and timeline required. The ACP faculty liaison and the ACP office will work together in the onboarding process.
  • All site visitors are required to attend the annual professional development seminar day. The ACP office will invite and compensate site visitors to attend, based on what an ACP instructor would receive – Virtual: none / In-person: accommodation, mileage, per diem.

Planning #

The site visitor contacts the high school instructor to set up a time for the visit. Time is arranged for an instructor/site visitor discussion prior to or following class. Prior to the actual visit:

  • Site visitor reviews the current syllabus in Canvas
  • Instructor prepares a packet that includes (as appropriate):
    • a set of graded papers,
    • sample tests, lab reports, projects, portfolios, and
    • handouts, packets
  • Instructor informs the high school administration of the site
  • Instructor informs the high school main office that a visit will occur
  • Instructor informs the site visitor about what door to use, where to park, and lunch options (if applicable)

Visitation #

The site visitor arrives at the high school several minutes before the agreed upon time and checks in at the main office.

  • Site visitors should carry some form of identification
  • Instructor introduces the site visitor to the class
  • Site visitor observes the lesson and engages with the students as appropriate
  • The visitor records thoughts about the course delivery on the site visit form
  • Time permitting, at the end of the lesson the site visitor answers student questions

Virtual site visits #

If the situation requires a virtual site visit, the site visitor and instructor may arrange for the following:

  • Establish the best date/time/format to conduct the site visit
  • Requests for assignments, graded student work, etc. can be arranged prior to the live virtual visit or recorded classroom session
  • Make sure the classroom teacher has a laptop, digital condenser (i.e. microphone), webcam with mic, or other device capable of picking up sound in the classroom
  • If an instructor cannot speak after the observed class, a scheduled time to talk in an agreed-upon format (phone call, Zoom, email) should be set to ensure necessary feedback

Be careful:

  • Do not rely upon the microphone of a Chromebook to pick up a teacher or classroom conversation
  • Do not forget about time zones (if applicable)

Follow-up #

The site visitor talks with the instructor following the visit, time permitting. Follow up email communication may be necessary in most cases. Topics to discuss include what went well, what did not go well, and how to improve areas in need of assistance. It may be necessary to create an improvement plan in some cases.

Frequency of visits #

A newly trained ACP instructor should receive a site visit during the first semester of instruction. After the initial visit, an instructor in good standing will be placed on a visit schedule of every other academic year of offering. Veteran instructors in good standing who have been instructing a course for 4 or more academic years should be visited a minimum of every 4 years of offering.  

Faculty Liaisons and/or Site Visitors may visit any ACP instructor with more frequency than biyearly or quadrennially.