Research School Network: Developing a feedback culture using video technology to enhance coaching Dr Trudy Coleman, Research & Development Lead, Progress Leader Y11 & Leader of IT Department, City Academy Norwich

Developing a feedback culture using video technology to enhance coaching

Dr Trudy Coleman, Research & Development Lead, Progress Leader Y11 & Leader of IT Department, City Academy Norwich

Why coaching?

We developed a project to find out if a combination of feedback and coaching via video technology (IRIS Connect) can support teachers to become more effective practitioners. We wanted to look at this because we know that on pupils’ achievement is largely due to the quality of its individual teachers (Kane et al., 2011; Slater et al., 2012).

Why video?

There is moderate evidence to suggest that video technology, combined with coaching, can lead to changes in practice. Coaching can improve professional skills and knowledge when delivered remotely, and the targeted use of videos is associated with gains in practitioner knowledge and pupil outcomes (EEF, 2020).

A number of reviews have identified the use of videos as a particularly effective element of Professional Development (PD), because it enables teaching staff to review and reflect on their own (and others’) actions in the classroom (EEF, 2020).

Video clips focus talk and reflection, and they allow meaningful and concrete discussion (Beilstein et al., 2017; Harford & MacRuairc, 2008). Video technology makes teaching and learning more visible (Davis et al., 2017), acting as a stimulus for dialogue about learning, and leading to improvements in practice.

Video coaching and Dunning-Kruger

We found that IRIS Connect supported teachers to become more effective practitioners. The need for coaches to review the video clips and provide guided feedback was identified as being an extremely important component of the IRIS Connect process, and this was especially important when the teachers were not naturally self-reflective or were early in their career.

It is also pertinent to consider the Dunning-Kruger effect; whereby those who are unskilled are also unaware of their own limitations (Kruger & Dunning, 1999). Teachers using only IRIS Connect and self-reflection might struggle to identify their own underperformance or know how to improve, so video viewing in isolation is unlikely to be impactful and should instead be paired with discussion with other professionals (EEF, 2020).

What were the barriers?

We knew that barriers such as information being difficult to access can have a detrimental effect on user engagement (EEF, 2020), and so we looked at this as part of our study. Teachers referred to a large number of barriers including: fear, pressure, authenticity, routine, time, coach, logistics and technical issues. It is important that these barriers are honestly and openly discussed with the teachers involved in the intervention and that systematic plans are devised to overcome them.

There are clear benefits to using video technology to support collaborative teacher development. Video technology can increase and deepen teaching and learning dialogue (Borko et al., 2008) but it’s important that this moved beyond self-reflection. In conclusion, you use IRIS Connect to become a better teacher” in combination with supportive and collaborative discussion.

You can read a full report of this project, including methods, analysis and discussion here:

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