Teacher Education

6 Assignments for Online Instructors in Teacher Preparation

6 Assignments for Online Instructors in Teacher Preparation

In the world of higher ed, coronavirus has hit teacher preparation programs particularly hard. Not only have teachers been expected to become online instructors in a few days, but the virus also forced K-12 schools across the country to physically close their doors. 

How do you provide your teacher candidates with teaching experiences when K-12 schools close their doors?

Here are six assignment ideas for online instructors to provide their candidates with instruction and teaching experiences amidst a pandemic. 

Download our free guide: 5 Strategies for Interactive Learning in Hybrid and Online Courses 

Using GoReact for Assignments

For online instructors, assignments are heavily influenced by the online learning tools they use. In this article, every assignment idea uses video. While many online instructors may currently be using synchronous video tools such as Zoom or Skype for classroom lectures, assignments often work best with an asynchronous video tool. That’s why the following assignment ideas utilize the video assessment tool GoReact

1. Teach a Prepared Lesson Plan

By using GoReact’s multiple camera assignment feature, candidates can record themselves teaching a lesson plan to up to eight classmates. And once they’ve recorded a lesson, online instructors can create an additional multiple camera assignment to meet with students one-on-one for post-observation feedback. 

This assignment fills a special need with the coronavirus, allowing your candidates to continue practicing teaching, even when it’s not in front of a traditional or online K-12 class.

2. Watch Examples of a New Method or Skill

With GoReact’s comment only assignment, online instructors can upload a video demonstrating a new skill or teaching method. They can then ask their candidates to make comments and use markers to pinpoint the new skills being modeled. Candidates can even record a video discussing what they thought went well or didn’t go well.

Comment only assignments allow online instructors to assess how well their candidates understand what a new skill looks like when it’s applied.

3. Model a New Method or Skill

To ensure your students understand specific concepts well enough to teach others, create a live review assignment. With this feature, students can present methods and skills to their peers in real-time. During that time, peers and instructors can give insightful feedback. 

Live review assignments are a great way for online instructors to assess how thoroughly a candidate understands a skill or method they’ve been taught. This format takes candidates one step closer to applying what they’re learning into their own teaching.

4. Create and Share Assignments

With a standard video assignment, online instructors can ask candidates to walk through an assignment they’ve created. Some K-12 schools now have online learning centers where assignments can be uploaded for the rest of the year. Whether candidates have access to an online learning center or not, they can always use the screen share feature to walk instructors or peers through an assignment they’ve created. 

5. Conduct Peer Reviews and Self-Reflections

If possible, take advantage of classroom videos gathered earlier in the semester. Create a standard assignment and ask candidates to upload a previously recorded video. Then instruct candidates and supervisors/instructors to reflect on a candidate’s performance of skills, strategies, tasks, and standards. 

Remember, online instructors can create customized markers and rubrics to guide feedback. And if you’re trying to prepare them for certification (PPAT, edTPA, etc.), it helps to create rubrics and markers that reflect those standards. 

Using GoReact for self-reflection is particularly effective. In a study conducted by ECU, 78% of teacher candidates said video-based self-reflection is crucial for skill development.

6. Create Professional Video Learning Communities

Using a multiple camera assignment, instructors can pre-create video sessions for groups of students to post videos, share ideas, and provide feedback for each other. It can cover specific topics or standards to stimulate collaboration and group work.

This assignment can be particularly helpful for online instructors, as it can be especially difficult to foster a sense of community in online courses. And during a time of social-distancing, these kinds of assignments will build a sense of community and belonging among your students. 

While the current pandemic is making life especially hard for teacher preparation professionals, there are solutions. With the right video tool and assignments, online instructors can provide candidates with the practice, feedback, and sense of community they need during this pandemic. 

And applications aren’t limited to what’s written in this article. If you’ve found a clever way to use GoReact while preparing pre-service teachers, send us an email at Team@goreact.com. We’d love to see how you’re using GoReact to engage your students! 

For a list of our free training webinars and additional guides for instructors, check out our instructor resources page