Teacher Education

Session Recap: Driving Innovation for Teacher Prep Programs

Session Recap: Driving Innovation for Teacher Prep Programs

As higher education continues to embrace new virtual solutions, it’s crucial for teacher preparation programs to adapt and provide effective support for teacher candidates. And innovative tools like GoReact have become a game-changer for teacher education.

This year at the ReAction 2023 Virtual Conference, a panel of experts shed light on how GoReact is transforming the way universities support their teacher candidates in a session titled “Teacher Candidate Support Using Virtual Observations & Effective Feedback.” The presentation featured three distinguished speakers: Dr. Robert Hall and Cristina Valentino from Western Governors University and Dr. Kimberly Smith-Burton from Fayetteville State University.

Read on to discover how these esteemed educators use GoReact to develop innovative teacher preparation programs.

How Western Governors University Uses GoReact to Provide Personalized Feedback to Educators

Dr. Robert Hall, Program Chair of Professional Core & Clinical Experiences at Western Governors University, emphasized their commitment to providing multi-tiered teacher candidate support. He stated, “We’re really focused on providing personalized support for our teacher candidates. It involves using virtual observations and developmental rubrics and ED prep.” Dr. Hall explained that they use GoReact to provide valuable feedback, helping candidates grow into accomplished educators. 

Dr. Hall also acknowledged that while these recorded observations are valuable, not everyone wants a camera watching their class. “Some districts are very resistant to allowing any videotaping in their classrooms, especially when we’re talking about some special populations,” he noted. “So you really have to develop some really good partnerships with the schools and any additional supervisors that you bring in to help.

Cristina Valentino, Clinical Supervisor and faculty member from Western Governors University, added, “GoReact is a learning resource. It’s very useful for everyone involved. It helps us provide immediate feedback. It’s also easy to identify situations in the learning process and makes it easy to see where the candidate has to demonstrate those classroom management skills.” 

The ability to give comprehensive feedback through recorded observations and annotations makes GoReact an incredibly valuable resource for WGU. “You can rewind or you can fast-forward to specific areas where you need to talk with the student and let them know what they need to do or improve, or highlight strengths or weaknesses,” elaborated Cristina. “You can actually go in the video [and annotate]. A strength of the core of the program is that it’s not just watching the video itself, but also allowing us to take notes. It’s basically like putting yourself in the classroom.”

Cristina also appreciates that GoReact can add value for WGU students and candidates as well as the supervisors. “[The benefits] actually go both ways because the student can also put some remarks if they need to in particular parts of the video. They can explain something that was happening at that time,” she adds. “And we don’t have the budget to travel to the physical classrooms like we usually would. But GoReact allows observers to actually see [candidates] teaching live in the classroom, without the students even knowing we’re there. We’re not intruding on their autonomy, and I think the candidates feel more comfortable doing it when we’re not actually there. They’re not as nervous.”

How Fayetteville State University Uses GoReact to Review Educators’ Lesson Plans

Dr. Kimberly Smith-Burton, from Fayetteville State University’s College of Education, shared her experience with GoReact, highlighting how it has been invaluable for their teacher preparation program. “In 2020, I was able to purchase the GoReact software so that our clinical experience supervisors could use it as a tool to evaluate students on their observations. Educators use GoReact to record videos of themselves teaching so that I can analyze the videos and look at their lesson plans.” The ability to annotate videos and provide timestamped feedback has made a significant impact on their candidates’ growth.

Dr. Smith-Burton noted that GoReact is even simplifying the edTPA assessment process and providing better evidence of student comprehension. “We are required in the state of North Carolina to have our students complete the edTPA portfolio,” she began. “Early on they learn how to use GoReact to record. They can also edit their videos in GoReact, which is helpful because they’re required to upload at least two video clips. The videos can’t be more than 20 minutes total, and each one has to be at least three minutes or more.”

She also shared a significant outcome: “Our data shows that GoReact has made a difference; our educators know what good instruction looks like. They know how to use assessment to drive instruction. They’re able to create an environment that is safe and respectful.”

Embracing GoReact for Educational Transformation

These two universities have demonstrated that GoReact is not just a software tool; it’s a catalyst for improving teacher preparation programs.

The session at ReAction 2023 highlighted how GoReact empowers instructors to provide immediate, personalized, and valuable feedback to their candidates — resulting in an effective learning environment for students, where educators are better prepared and more attuned to their students’ needs.

So, if you’re an educator, dean, or instructor seeking to elevate your teacher preparation program, it’s time to explore GoReact. Join the educational revolution and experience firsthand how GoReact can help you provide the best support for your teacher candidates.

Ready to take the next step? View this session and explore other insightful discussions from ReAction 2023.