Observations are a vital part of teacher education. Through field experiences, teacher candidates observe veteran educators in action, then put their own knowledge into practice—learning how to plan lessons, apply instructional methods, and manage a real classroom.
Fieldwork is also how supervisors observe and coach candidates as they hone their teaching skills. It’s an invaluable experience, but it comes with a hefty price tag for teacher education programs. That’s because travel to fieldwork locations, which can be hundreds of miles away, takes loads of time and money.
While student teacher observations are required, travel doesn’t have to be. Here are two examples of teacher education programs that bet on GoReact video assessment software for remote observation and won the jackpot on time and budget savings.
The Julia S. Tutwiler College of Education at the University of West Alabama is a national leader in promoting and supporting rural education. But their success in preparing highly-qualified candidates throughout the state was also the reason for the $60,000 deficit in their travel budget.
To observe every student teacher during a two-hour lesson, UWA supervisors traveled to fieldwork locations up to four hours away, requiring departmental funds for gas, meals, and hotels. Because educational technology allowed UWA to teach candidates remotely, they decided to try a technology solution for observing them remotely, too.
“Once we found and formed a partnership with GoReact,” said Dean and Assistant Professor of Education Jan Miller, “it didn’t take long until we started seeing huge savings. It’s because of GoReact that we’re able to say that our budget is not in the red.”
Through well-established partnerships with local schools in New York and Ottawa, the College of Education at Niagara University offers binational fieldwork placements that begin during every student’s first semester. This gives U.S. and Canadian candidates the advantage of more practical experience as they prepare for student teaching.
In 2018, Niagara implemented GoReact to support a hybrid approach to observations, and they began conducting half their observations in person and half remotely. In response to COVID shutdowns, they moved to fully remote observations for every candidate in 2020.
Factoring in the cost of GoReact, Niagara saved 25% on observation costs with a hybrid approach and 75% with fully remote observations.
According to Niagara Dean and Professor of Education Chandra J. Foote, “We were quickly able to move to fully remote observation during the pandemic using GoReact without any additional cost or training.”
While GoReact made in-person observations optional for the Colleges of Education at UWA and NU, it didn’t make them obsolete. Supervisors can still use GoReact Live Review technology to sync feedback with student teaching videos as they’re recorded at any fieldwork location. This maximizes flexibility by enabling supervisors to observe and assess teacher candidates in real time or anytime.
Reducing or eliminating travel isn’t the only way GoReact helped these customers save time on observations. Through features designed to streamline everything from course creation to grading, GoReact helped UWA and NU instructors, mentors, and fieldwork supervisors maximize their time, while giving more targeted feedback. Here are several key examples of time-saving GoReact features.
Ready to see how GoReact can help your program save time and money with fully remote or hybrid observations? Request a demo, share a few details about your program, and we’ll walk you through a savings exercise.