Teachers Reflect Today, Improve Tomorrow
IP&T graduate Tonya Tripp’s PhD articles on teacher video reflection published
Like most other professions, teaching is being changed and improved by technology. Video recording and analysis have been instrumental in facilitating teacher reflection–observing and critiquing one’s own teaching. These processes can lead to significant improvement.
Tonya Tripp, a recent Instructional Psychology & Technology PhD graduate, explored this form of reflection in two research articles that were recently published in prestigious journals. She found that results of using video reflection of teaching are consistent with the system’s reputation as an important tool for strengthening one’s own teaching practice.
Tripp’s first article, published in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education, is a synthesis of research that has been done on using video to help teachers analyze their teaching. Tripp reviewed findings of other studies on teacher reflection and improvement, leading her to question what was actually working with video reflection. “Everybody says that it’s beneficial to teachers, but I wanted to find out if it was actually working,” she recalls. “So my study set out to determine what was changing in teachers’ approaches, including how video analysis was affecting specific teaching practices.”
Tripp conducted her own live study of seven different teachers, which was published in the British Journal of Educational Technology. Tripp found that each made noticeable changes to his/her teaching as result of the video analysis. The seven teachers reported that the impact of visual images from video recordings served as reminders to improve. “Being able to see themselves on video made their observations stay in their minds,” Tripp remembers. “They’d be teaching the next day and would see those images from the video in their minds and think, ‘I really need to change this habit.’”
Tripp observed that video feedback also helped the mentors who were assisting these teachers during the reflection process. “They were able to sit down and specifically point out the things that needed improvement, with the teachers being able to see exactly what was meant,” says Tripp. The feedback would then be more believable and easier to understand.
The video reflection process, which consists of video recording, observing, practicing, recording again, and repeating the cycle again, gave teachers a sense of accountability. They were motivated to come back to their reviews showing noticeable progress with goals relating to specific practices and techniques. “It was motivational for them to see their own progress, and for others to see [their progress] as well.”
Many teachers participate in video reflection, which is simply the process of observing video recordings of themselves teaching. What Tripp advocates as a result of her research is video analysis, which is a process of engagement and integration that enables deeper analysis and exploration of the video. Analysis involves marking, highlighting, cutting, and editing video selections to be more specific and adapted for the teacher’s learning curve, making it easier for teacher and mentor to review the teaching incidents.
Tripp now works for the BYU Center for Teaching and Learning, where she is doing web and instructional design for BYU’s Learning Suite, which will replace Blackboard for the upcoming school year. “It’s been a great opportunity,” she says, “and a good fit for an IP&T graduate.”
August 2, 2012