April 2020

High Quality Instructional Feedback to Teacher Candidates in Virtual Settings

In response to US PREP coalition members’ needs, US PREP has facilitated a series of three webinars all focused on supporting providers with implementing high-quality clinical experiences using virtual settings. The first webinar supported US PREP staff in identifying providers’ needs. The session allowed the coalition to hear from each other and develop approaches and solutions to shifting the clinical experience to virtual formats, together.  The second webinar showcased how coalition members are designing assignments to support candidates in using video and simulations to develop the candidate’s teaching skills. The series concluded on April 9th with the webinar entitled, "High-Quality Instructional Feedback to Teacher Candidates in Virtual Settings." Presenters from four member universities shared methods and technical tools they are leveraging to develop their teacher candidates with virtual feedback.
Jody Dennis, Site Coordinator at Texas Tech University, shared the teacher education department's approach to academic feedback. Texas Tech has developed six "Critical attributes of High-Quality Academic Feedback" to deliver consistent oral and written feedback. The critical attributes tie feedback to student learning while providing the next steps for improvement. Using the US PREP Coaching Toolkit as a resource, Dennis supports candidates with focused and actionable feedback. 

San Diego State University has been utilizing Sibme for four years, but recently has found it to be an even more invaluable tool in online learning. Dr. Estella Chizhik, Professor in the school of teacher education, presented the inherent advantages of using Sibme for video-based coaching. With schools currently closed, candidates are unable to make new teaching videos in the classroom, but San Diego State is having candidates find "artifact" videos from Sibme and is leveraging those videos to continue to promote candidates’ ability to reflect on their teaching. "With video-based coaching, candidates capture teaching segments, watch and self-reflect on their teaching, provide time-stamped evidence-based feedback, make connections to the instructional evaluation rubric, and connect to Zoom to engage in pre-and post-conferences," Dr. Chizhik said.  

Dr. Gayle Thieman, associate professor in the college of education at Portland State University, is creating opportunities for co-teaching in her weekly Zoom classes. Teacher candidates prepare lessons and engage in peer reviews together where they rehearse a segment of the lesson with two of their peers. The instructors watch the lesson rehearsals and provide focused feedback. In addition to receiving real-time feedback from their instructors, teacher candidates are seeing how co-teaching can be applied in virtual environments to maximize learning. 
Dr. Chandar Lewis, director of the Center for Teacher Quality at Jackson State University, explained how Jackson State is approaching the challenge of classroom observations. In their weekly virtual class, teacher candidates are asked to discuss and provide feedback on two instructional videos. Candidates view the videos for a specific purpose. They convene together as a class to discuss strengths and opportunities for growth. They then simulate what they would do if they were the teachers in those classrooms. "Let's put ourselves in the shoes of those teachers," Dr. Lewis directed. Together, the US PREP coalition members continue to build out resources to support teacher educators in delivering high-quality practice-based teaching using virtual formats.
To learn more about how US PREP is disrupting inequities in PK-12 districts and communities across the nation, visit www.usprepnationalcenter.com.
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