A smartphone video trial during our teacher education students’ professional placements has led to our students receiving feedback that is more targeted as well as increased opportunities for self-reflection.
The trial was undertaken by academics in the Department of Educational Studies and was supported by a 2018 Learning and Teaching Strategic Priority Grant. The grant funded the purchase of video equipment and subscription to an online platform called Teaching Teams, which is available to everyone on a user-pays basis. Teaching Teams is hosted by the US-based Teaching Channel, which is supported through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve teachers’ classroom practice.
Students record significant excerpts from their lessons using an app on their phones and then upload the videos to the Teaching Channel website, which is password protected, enabling control over who views and comments on the video. Once the video is uploaded, students can annotate it with time-stamped comments and invite their supervising teacher to add their feedback and questions. To receive feedback from their supervising teacher, students view and click on a comment which cues the video at the relevant point.
The results of the trial indicate that using the video technology can enhance the professional growth and reflective practice of teacher education students and their supervisors. For the students there was more structured and more regular support and comments from their supervisors as videos were uploaded weekly across the placement. Teachers and schools see benefits in developing classroom practice and the ability to analyse teaching and identify improvement strategies.
Macquarie has already begun to embed the video reflection process into our teacher education programs. We see this as an important opportunity for teacher education students to develop evidence of their impact on the students they teach during placement. The Tch Plus platform can also offer practising teachers a collaborative way to analyse classroom practice and improve engagement between teachers and schools – both between colleagues, and between colleagues and lead teachers. There is also potential for academics to use the platform for peer review of teaching.
Please contact me, Michael Cavanagh, via email if you are interested in further information