1. Form a Team

A lesson study group usually consists of several teachers who are interested in working together to improve their teaching and student learning.

To ensure multiple perspectives, a lesson study group should involve three to six teachers. Teams with more than six participants have difficulty scheduling meetings. If more than six colleagues want to participate in lesson study, a good solution is to split up into two teams.

The composition of the team should be determined by instructors’ interests and the focus of the lesson study. Typically, participants are from the same discipline and often teach the same course. But, interdisciplinary teams may be appropriate when instructors from several disciplines are interested in creating a common experience for students (e.g., a first year seminar) or when they share common learning goals in their classes.

Q & A

How often should we meet?

Schedule at least 4-6 lesson planning meetings well in advance of the date when the lesson is to be taught. Teams meet regularly throughout the year for planning, implementation, debriefing and reporting. Our experience has shown than the process takes approximately 25-35 hours over the entire year.

How should we record our meetings?

Good records are essential when people work together over a period of time. Assign a team member to keep notes for each meeting. Accurate records of your work will help you chart progress over time and help the group establish continuity from meeting to meeting. A convenient method is to use a shared file so that each team member can add material as needed.

Do we need human subjects approval?

If you plan to present or publish the results of your lesson study, you should consult your campus Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) about how to prepare an IRB Protocol. You will also need to provide Informed Consent, which describes to students the purpose of your study and how the information they produce will be used for research purposes. Feel free to modify this sample informed consent form for students.

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Lesson Study Project

Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601