Does video make classroom observation and feedback processes better and more meaningful?

When it comes to the use of video technology in observations, educators have had a lot of questions. Does video make classroom observation and feedback processes better and more meaningful? Does it make observations more cost efficient? Does it help school leaders provide better support to teachers?

While many of us have formed our own answers to those questions, we haven't really known for sure- until now.

<Insert video maybe??> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-ZWRGYD_k

As part of a multi-year study of over 400 educators across the country, researchers from The Best Foot Forward Project collected data on educators' experience using video technology for observation and feedback and investigated whether video technology can make classroom observation processes easier to implement, less costly, more valid and reliable, and more acceptable to teachers and administrators. 

Here is just a snapshot of what they discovered:

  1. Both teachers and administrators who used video felt the observation process was more fair and productive. Teachers perceived observers as being more supportive, while administrators thought that teachers were less defensive and had fewer objections to feedback.

  2. Though video-based observations did not necessarily save administrators time, it did allow them to conduct observations on more convenient schedules - which naturally resulted in more focused and robust feedback.

  3. Teachers who used video became more self-reflective. They tended to rate themselves lower than teachers who did not use video, and were better able to identify opportunities for growth.

The Best Foot Forward Video Observation Toolkit is now available to help educators: 

  • Understand the value and benefits of using video technology in observation and feedback systems.
  • Leverage video technology and implement video-based observation and feedback processes.
  • Select the right audio and video technology and software platforms for their needs. ADVANCE, our video-based observation and feedback software was featured as a recommended platform.
  • Plan ahead for certain considerations, like protecting student and teacher privacy.
To read more about how the study was conducted and the preliminary findings, check out the first year implementation report.  

As a leader in using video technology to fuel educator growth, it's wonderful to have data from this project confirm what we see in the field every day. We were honored to serve as an industry expert to the Best Foot Forward Project's researchers and look forward to the next report due out in 2016, which will explore how video technology impacts student achievement.

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