video coaching

Creating successful teachers with video coaching

How a school of education used technology to better support its preservice teachers

Teaching elementary math—especially explaining the conceptual basis of algorithms and procedures— can be particularly challenging for novice teachers. Therefore, teacher-preparation programs need to provide robust support to help education preservice teachers (EPTs) acquire this specialized content knowledge and teach a high-quality math curriculum.

At the University of Indianapolis, technology-driven initiatives have helped our elementary EPTs master these instructional skills while engaging them in reflective professional learning. In particular, video coaching has been instrumental to our EPTs’ growth.

Implementing video coaching
Nearly four years ago, our junior-level EPTs were struggling to create rich mathematical tasks during their student teaching at a local highly diverse, high-needs elementary school. EPTs were challenged with transforming their lessons from procedures and worksheets to more authentic, child-centered, and culturally-appropriate tasks.

Given the number of EPTs in our program, faculty had to limit their lesson observations and frequency. Consequently, faculty could only provide limited instructional feedback, which primarily consisted of brief written comments and rubric scores.

This lack of feedback was frustrating for the faculty and caused dissatisfaction with EPTs. There was also concern by teachers at the elementary school that their students were not having an optimal learning experience due to the lessons lacking rigor, relevancy, and student engagement. It became apparent to us that a change was necessary.

(Next page: How we used video to improve preservice instruction)

To better support our EPTs with their math instruction, we decided to create a video-based collaborative online community consisting of our EPTs and coaches. Our goal was to have EPTs receive richer feedback and work collaboratively with coaches during learning cycles.

During these cycles, EPTs use iPads to capture and upload short videos of their classroom teaching to the Edthena platform. They also attach lesson plans and other relevant resources to these videos.

Coaches view the videos and provide their comments and feedback directly into the platform for EPTs to review. EPTs then write a reflection of their teaching incorporating their coach’s feedback and share an instructional practice they want to improve upon.

Last, EPTs revise their lesson plan and reteach the lesson based on this feedback and reflection.

Improved practices
The use of video coaching has been widely effective for EPTs. When surveyed, one student said, “The videos allowed me to see my teaching from a different perspective, which allowed me to notice things that I didn’t realize I was doing or that I should continue to do.”

Another student said, “I was able to observe what areas within my teaching needed improvement. The videos also acted as a form of [student] assessment.”

Having EPTs record and reflect upon videos of their classroom lessons has improved the effectiveness of their instructional planning and execution. They are better able to identify trends in their teaching and see if they are doing a better job at engaging students in rich discourse.

Using an observation rubric during the video-coaching process has also helped EPTs home in on specific elements of their instructional practice, such as engaging students in learning or developing as reflective practitioners. EPTs have become more adept at what to look for in the videos and understanding what constitutes exemplary teaching practices.

Video-based feedback has been equally beneficial for coaches, who remarked on how the process enhanced their own professional learning. Coaches have said that providing feedback for EPTs has prompted them to reflect on their teaching and instructional practices.

Overall, coaches feel that shifting to a virtual, video-based community has significantly supported EPTs in the advancement of their mathematical practice. Our program now has the tools and supports in place to engage EPTs in the meaningful and reflective professional learning they need to succeed.

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

eSchool Media Contributors

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.