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Teachers TV software allows real-time student teacher assessment

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Macquarie University and the Teachers TV Foundation have announced the success of a trial of 'Teaching Teams' which turns the cameras on teacher education students to improve their teaching techniques and effectiveness. The trial incorporated the 'Teaching Teams' technology into the course assessment for teacher education students. 

While teaching a class, the teacher education students recorded themselves using their own tripod-mounted mobile phone and uploaded the videos to the website, enabling them to observe, make digital notes and tweak their  teaching style in real time.

“I was able to reflect personally and then address concerns based on actual information, rather than ‘feelings’ that I had about the lesson. I was able to see exactly what was needed in terms of classroom management, where lines of questioning did and did not work and address this intelligently rather than emotionally,” explained a student involved in the trial.

The teacher education students were also able to receive ongoing feedback from their university supervisors, not present in the classroom, who were able to respond daily during the trial. The process is a vast improvement on traditional assessment methods.

“The platform offers supervisors a way of giving ongoing feedback to teacher education students during their teaching placements. It also provides a means by which teacher education students can engage in productive reflection on their classroom practice with support from their supervising teacher,” said Dr Michael Cavanagh, Director of the Secondary Teacher Education Program at Macquarie University.

Schools are also seeing the benefits of the platform, with Maura Manning, Leader of Professional Learning within the Diocese of Broken Bay Catholic Schools, commenting that the host supervising teachers saw great value in using video as part of their mentoring of teacher education students, particularly when it came to developing their soft teaching skills.

“The self-reflection by the university teacher education students was profound in developing their skills as young educators. The process allowed university and teaching supervisors to notice and name positive interactions and behaviours as well as provide very specific feedback that helps the young teachers move their practice forward. It was a significant learning opportunity for all involved,” said Ms Manning.

"The Foundation is also trialling the concept in schools to help improve in-service teacher effectiveness,” said Peter Sjoquist, Founder of Teachers TV.

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