Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 13(2), 2013, 156-174.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This article reports on an exploratory project in which the authors designed an innovative interactive video method to help preservice teachers practice critical observation of other preservice teachers as preparation for eventually observing their own classroom teaching on video.
The authors conducted a small-scale experiment with students in a teacher education program that compared these two interactive video methods to each other and to a no-video control group.
The participants were 63 students who enrolled the introductory teacher education program course.
The students were divided to three groups:
1.The preservice teachers (novices) who participated in the video coding group were required to write their own observations when viewing short video clips before being shown the observations written by experienced teacher-educators (experts) who had viewed the same clips. The novices then compared their observations to those of the experts before viewing and coding the next video clip.
2.The second group of guided video viewing involved 23 preservice teachers reading experts' written observations while viewing the same video clips used in video coding but not writing their own observations.
3.Students in a third section of the course, serving as a control group, did not engage in a video activity but took the same paper-based classroom observation test as students in the two video conditions.
The findings reveal that the video viewing group performed better than the video coding group and significantly better than a no-video control group on a written classroom observation posttest.
The authors argue that expert feedback method (coding), which included teacher education students writing their video-based observations before being shown the experts’ observations, has great potential.
The authors suggest that using experts’ observations of the same video segments as feedback to learners can be incorporated into an interactive video module that teacher education students complete as self-directed learning. For many teacher educators, watching video clips and writing comments is easier than acting as a Subject Matter Expert for an instructional program. The strategy can be an easy and natural way both to extract and share teaching expertise.
The authors argue that both guided video viewing activity and video coding activity have potential to amplify preservice teachers’ learning from video-based observation. Indeed, the simplicity of the guided video viewing activity may help overcome the resistance of teacher education faculty, preservice teachers, and cooperating teachers to using video annotation tools for analyzing the teaching practice of student teachers.
Incorporating simpler video observation activities early in teacher education may lead to greater acceptance of more advanced video observation activities, such as video annotation and video clubs, during student teaching and professional practice.
In summary, the interactive video approaches developed in this project used video of near-peer preservice teachers to trigger the observations of both experts and novices, with the experts’ observations used to guide preservice teachers’ classroom awareness.
Both interactive video approaches can be used in traditional classroom settings to generate group discussion and can also be developed as standalone, self-paced learning activities that can be delivered on a learning management system.