Teacher Education

6 Video Assessments in Teacher Ed Courses for a Post-COVID Campus

6 Video Assessments in Teacher Ed Courses for a Post-COVID Campus

While a lot of teacher prep programs started using video more during the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve used video assessment to prepare teacher candidates for decades.  

In fact, video assessment is an integral part of our teacher prep program at Saginaw Valley State University. We use it with our undergraduate and graduate students at every stage of their education for assignments and assessments that complement their work on campus. 

So while some teacher prep programs may be tempted to reduce video usage after the pandemic, we’re going to use it more than ever.

That’s because we believe video assessments allow teacher candidates to reflect upon their teaching and helps them develop a stronger connection with the content and evidence-based practices to enhance their teaching.

Here are six ways to use video assessment in your teacher prep program after the pandemic.

6 Video Assessments For Remote Or On-Campus Courses

The following are just a few of the various activities I’ve used with my early childhood, elementary, and special education teacher candidates using GoReact as our video assessment platform.

1. Introduction to the Classroom

This is an activity that works for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Students provide a five to seven-minute video of the classroom where they are currently teaching or will be student teaching. All students in their group review each other’s videos in GoReact using markers and comments.

Video difference-maker: Making this introduction allows teacher candidates to practice recording, uploading, and reflecting on their video. This gives them an opportunity to use markers, keep their video stable, share where they are teaching and the school’s philosophy, as well as anything else they might like other teacher candidates to know about where they will be student teaching or are currently teaching. Completing this practice activity avoids future problems that can happen when recording and uploading video.

2. Lesson Observations

We use GoReact to observe and give feedback on lessons that our methods students are teaching. These lessons include math, science, group social studies, and reading.

Video difference-maker: GoReact allows supervisors and lead faculty to observe what teacher candidates are doing in the field. Often teacher candidates are observed by a university supervisor and not by the lead faculty due to multiple locations where students are teaching their lessons. GoReact gives faculty the ability to observe ALL teacher candidates. In addition, using GoReact affords teacher candidates an opportunity to relate their teaching practices to the content learned in our program. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

"While some teacher prep programs may be tempted to reduce video usage after the pandemic, we’re going to use it more than ever." —Dr. Debra Lively, Saginaw Valley State University Share on X

3. Methods Course Read Aloud

This is assigned to students in a methods course. They record a read aloud with a three to six-year-old. Their peers then review each upload using markers and comments in GoReact. They share the video and feedback with the child’s parents. 

Video difference-maker: Using GoReact has given students flexibility in completing this activity and an opportunity to use a critical eye when viewing their interactions reading to young children. Having top-notch instruction in literacy is essential. The following are some examples of what students have learned through or improved by viewing their videos: the importance of “wait time,” vocabulary, fluency, their questioning practices, how they encouraged a love for reading.

4. Preschool Quality Assessment (PQA)

Undergraduate and graduate students observe a classroom via video in GoReact. They use the Preschool Quality Assessment-R (High Scope) tool and rate what is observed using markers and comments. 

Video difference-maker: Using GoReact has allowed teachers and teacher candidates to visit a classroom virtually, which has been a saving grace during COVID. In order for students to understand program assessment, they need to complete the PQA, which means they need to observe an early childhood classroom and rate environmental factors and teacher/child interactions. COVID has not allowed real-time visits to happen. GoReact has provided an alternative route, which we will keep using because of the success, dialogue, and ability to review video classroom examples multiple times. 

"We believe video assessments allow teacher candidates to reflect upon their teaching and helps them develop a stronger connection with the content and evidence-based practices to enhance their teaching." —Dr. Debra Lively, Saginaw Valley… Share on X

5. Strategies for Graduate Special Education Class

Our graduate students create a video demonstrating various strategies such as using visuals, creating a visual schedule, and embedding interventions into daily routines. These videos receive peer and instructor review in GoReact using markers and comments to support additions and/or changes. A final video is shared via YouTube with the families in their respective programs.

Video difference-maker: This activity was created so that teachers would consider using video support with families. When families see evidence-based practices through visual modeling, they may be more willing to try some of the suggested strategies with their children. These videos are meant to be brief but specific to support positive strategies when working with young children who have exceptionalities. Feedback from peers have made the videos even better. Some of the videos developed have been outstanding and have been appreciated by caregivers and continue to be available on YouTube for other caregivers to use. Our graduates have indicated appreciation that they have learned to use this medium to reach families.

6. Graduate Language Investigation Project

Graduate students record a 20-30 minute interaction with a child. Once they upload the video to GoReact, they create a transcript and mark the child’s language using the customized markers—Halliday’s Pragmatic Functions of Language—that were created for the course. 

Video difference-maker: GoReact has enabled graduate students to conduct and complete action research, which will help them support children who may have speech and language delays. Students are truly proud of their projects and their ability to record, transcribe, and analyze a young child’s speech and language. GoReact has allowed them to “see” some of the non-verbals that they could not detect in transcripts alone. Having a more comprehensive view of a child and his/her language has increased our graduate candidates’ confidence in their ability to assess a young child and understand when they should consider making a referral for special support. 

Video Assessment Is More Than a “Pandemic Tool” 

Whether we’re in the classroom or online, video assessment has played a significant role in helping prepare our teacher candidates to become world-class educators. 

As an instructor, the use of video allows me to go deeper with my feedback and provide students with an engaging learning experience. Our students love the personalized feedback from instructors and the opportunity to hear from their peers. 

In addition, teacher candidates tend to reflect more deeply about their teaching, which will help them become better educators and lifelong learners. Teacher candidates have mentioned multiple times that seeing themselves in action has truly made a difference in how they restructure and execute a lesson. And they appreciate the flexibility, time-savings, and expedited skill development.

Bottom line: Our goal is that teacher candidates become lifelong independent learners and GoReact helps them achieve that goal.

Dr. Lively is a Professor of Teacher Education and Director of Clinical Experiences at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Michigan. Before going to Saginaw Valley State University, she spent 29 years in public education. Dr. Lively is committed to the philosophy that “early intervention” does make a difference and it is the responsibility of educators as a community to provide the best resources possible for families who have young children.