TeachingLD

Video Analysis Techniques for the Reflective Practitioner

Sarah A. Nagro

Video Analysis Techniques for the Reflective Practitioner

 

Sarah A. Nagro

George Mason University

snagro@gmu.edu

 

Video recording activities can be used to guide reflective practices. Special educators watch video evidence of their own teaching to then reflect in a process referred to as video analysis (Tripp & Rich, 2012a). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), recognized as the voice and vision of special education, developed professional standards for special educators that include a focus on lifelong learning through reflective practices to recognize strengths and limits as well as to improve decision making to better promote student learning (CEC, 2012). Video analysis has been shown as a more effective method for developing reflective abilities when compared to traditional forms of reflection (e.g. memory, watching videos of other teachers). (Seidel, Sturmer, Blomberg, Kobarg, & Schwindt, 2011). Video analysis allows educators the flexibility to reflect on their own teaching anytime from anywhere without having to simultaneously teach (Martin & Ertzberger, 2013). Wang and Hartley (2003) best summarized video analysis as an activity that can be used to both transform existing beliefs and practices of educators as well as support the acquisition of new teaching knowledge and skills.

Advances in technology have increased the feasibility of educators capturing evidence of their teaching on video using laptops, smart phones, tablets, and flip-cams. The use of computer-based and mobile technology has increased drastically since 1995 and most educators now use the technologies daily (Martin & Ertzberger, 2013; Russell, Bebell, O’Dwyer, & O’Conner, 2003). Computer-based and mobile technologies that include video capacities allow educators the ability to review their instruction independently resulting in greater access to ongoing and authentic learning experiences (Martin & Ertzberger, 2013; Wang & Hartley, 2003). Video analysis can be used to address both proximal changes in teacher reflection and distal changes in teacher practice, which both aim to improve student learning opportunities (Nagro & Cornelius, 2013).

Video analysis is also being used widely in teacher credentialing. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) requires educators to engage in video analysis procedures to obtain a prestigious performance-based national teaching certification. To date, more than 110,000 teachers have completed video analysis procedures to obtain national board certification (NBPTS, 2015). Additionally, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) collaborated with Stanford University’s Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) to develop, pilot, and endorse edTPA, a teacher candidate assessment, which requires teacher candidates to video record the demonstration of target skills and knowledge specific to their credentialing area. In 2014, 18,000 teacher candidates submitted portfolios that included video evidence and written reflections, and 626 teacher preparation programs across 41 states are currently using edTPA activities (Pearson Education, 2014). Lastly, Cantrell and Kane published findings from the three-year Measure of Effective Teaching Project (MET) completed in 2013 and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was intended in part to determine the reliability of video recorded lessons used for teacher evaluation. Cantrell and Kane (2013) concluded teacher evaluations completed through in-person observation were equivalent to evaluations completed using video evidence.

The value of capturing and analyzing one’s teaching practices using video analysis is now recognized across teacher credentialing and evaluation forums but also as a method for self-improvement that can be integrated into professional routines (Danielowich & McCarthy, 2013). Video evidence can be used to measure reflective abilities and instructional skills by tracking changes from one video recorded lesson to the next. Methods for measuring growth include the use of rubrics, likert-scales, frequencies, checklists, or criterion levels that can be reliably measured by viewing video evidence (Cantrell & Kane, 2013). Special educators can also use these same measurement tools to guide their analysis of the video recorded lessons and self-evaluate. This video analysis process can be explained in four steps (see Figure 1).

The Video Analysis Process

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