Teacher Education

Improving the Quality of Teacher Education

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Improving the Quality of Teacher Education

Sumter County, Alabama ranks in the 10 lowest counties for average household income in the U.S. But it’s also home to one of the top teacher education programs. The University of West Alabama (UWA) is working to overcome the state’s teacher shortage by using GoReact to help more teacher candidates become successful, licensed educators.

Because of the unique demographic UWA serves, they also face unique challenges. Every year, CAEP raises the bar for teacher candidates, which can be difficult for first-generation and rural students already struggling to meet GPA requirements.

Another major challenge for UWA is travel. Before implementing GoReact video assessment software, supervisors needed funds for hotels, meals, and gas just to observe two-hour lessons around the state—sometimes up to four hours away. In one year, because of growth in online students, the department exceeded their travel budget by $30,000.

Challenges

First Generation Students

  • Many students come from at-risk schools and are unprepared for the rigors of college.

Tech-Challenged Faculty

  • A number of UWA supervisors are retired faculty easily intimidated by technology.

Travel Costs

  • In one year, the UWA College of Education exceeded their travel budget by $30,000.

edTPA Certification

  • UWA needed a solution to help candidates pass the edTPA certification test.

 

GoReact Solutions

Student Support

  • Faculty can better support first-generation students with personalized feedback.

Ease of Use

  • GoReact requires no special equipment, and is easy for everyone to set up and use.

Budget Savings

  • UWA cut travel expenses dramatically and observes more students than ever before.

More Prepared Candidates

  • Students practice the edTPA principle of recording and reflecting on a session.

"GoReact is a life saver, a time saver, and a money saver. It’s all of those things for us."

Dr. Jan Miller

Dean of the College of Education

Saving Time & Money on Observations

Leaders in the UWA College of Education knew they needed to make a big change, one that would prepare candidates for successful teaching careers, while decreasing time and money spent on travel.

After introducing GoReact into their program, faculty quickly discovered that video + feedback provided solutions for all their challenges. It allowed candidates to watch themselves teach and become instantly self-aware of their performance. It made traveling for observations optional. Additionally, time-coded text, audio, and video feedback increased UWA supervisors’ ability to prepare candidates for certification and beyond.

According to Dr. Jan Miller, Dean of the College of Education, “GoReact is a life saver, a time saver, and a money saver. It’s all of those things for us.”

 

Looking Forward

UWA now uses GoReact for graduate and undergraduate teacher education, instructional leadership, school counseling, and library media. In their next round of initiatives, faculty plan to build rubrics within GoReact, teach classroom management skills with video, and build a library of exemplary videos from UWA students.

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