Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, v. 31 no. 4 (Fall 2008),
In this study, the authors determine the efficacy of two-way videoconferencing to supervise pre-service special education teachers. Efficacy is determined by (a) assessing interobserver reliability between on-site and off-site observers and (b) evaluating the feasibility and practicality of the videoconferencing technology.
Data are collected in two elementary schools using the Skill Monitoring Checklist.
Participants include two special education pre-service teachers and four university supervisors of practicum and student teaching experiences. Pre-service teachers who participated were in practicum or student teaching settings in one elementary school and were working with students with disabilities in a variety of school contexts (e.g., individualized instruction in a section of a classroom, small-group instruction in a special education classroom, or large-group instruction in a general education classroom). University supervisors were either doctoral students or faculty with at least two semesters of previous experience in supervising students using the format and observational instruments used in this study.
Using point-by-point agreement scores, interobserver reliability is found to be 86% between on-site supervisors who observed face-to-face and off-site supervisors who observed via videoconferencing. Challenges related to feasibility are identified in the areas of equipment setup, Internet connection, visual field, and sound quality. Findings from this study suggest that videoconferencing is a promising practice for pre-service teacher practicum supervision.