Analyzing Classrooms with Video and Structured Observation: A Model of Software Development for 21st Century Teaching Evaluation

Analyzing Classrooms with Video and Structured Observation: A Model of Software Development for 21st Century Teaching Evaluation

Basiyr D. Rodney (Webster University, USA), David Devraj Kumar (Florida Atlantic University, USA) and Andrew Binder (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch034
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Abstract

This chapter discusses the conceptualization and development of a methodological tool for conducting classroom research and teacher evaluations with application to the analysis of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) classroom data. The development process involved the creation of a structured video observation system (called the Synchronized Video Observation System, SIVOS) built on top of a database application. The concept applies the integration of an on-screen video frame containing classroom-teaching episodes alongside a structured teaching evaluation rubric. The conceptualization and development of such an application leverages rapid application development techniques. The application is of significance because it allows for the fine-grained and iterative analysis of classroom teaching episodes. It leverages the storing, searching, and retrieval capacity of a database application to code video segments with a structured observation tool. The tool offers an opportunity to enhance the fairness, accuracy, and transparency of teacher evaluations. The approach values low-inference, low-learning curve design. It allows for data to be quickly and easily analyzed. With such tools, teachers, researchers, and administrators have the ability to examine teaching behaviors for continuous improvement.
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Foundational Principles Of Classroom Observation

First Principles of Instruction as propounded by instructional theorists are model and research-based instructional practices as well as anticipated learner behaviors that lead to learning regardless of program or methodology (Merrill, 2002, 2012). The goal of implementing instruction based on foundational principles (Rodney, 2006) has become an important design construct in recent years (Merrill, 2012, 2002; Gardner, 2011). These principles reflect basic methods of instruction (Reigeluth, 1999), powerful principles (Yelon, 1996) or learning components (van Merrienboer, 1997). These foundational principles have been arrived at after over fifty years of research and theorizing in the area of instructional systems design (ISD). To engender further empirical validation, each aspect of first principles remains open to observation and testing in authentic instructional contexts.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ISD (Instructional System Design): Is the systematic approach to the design, development and delivery of instructional materials.

Application: Employing practice using varied types of problems as well as multifarious tasks. This may include encouraging learners to restate or recall information, locating, labeling or describing concepts, identifying examples, modeling procedures, predicting outcomes of a stated process or uncovering errors in a misaligned element.

Foundational Principles of Instruction: Another name for basic method. Foundational principles are instructional concepts that have empirical validity in Instructional Systems Design (ISD). Foundational principles increase the probability of learning in any learning situation. For the purposes of empirical observation these foundational principles are qualified and measureable. As such they become objects that represent the building blocks of instruction.

TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study): Provides comparative classroom based data on the mathematics and science achievement of US fourth and eighth grade students to that of students in over sixty countries.

Basic Method: Instructional practice that has been scientifically proven to consistently improve the probability of learning under given conditions.

Integration: Personal adaptation of new knowledge and skill. Learners make their knowledge explicit in a public forum.

Problem Centered: A structured or ill-structured task or exercise that involves a goal directed sequence.

First Principles: Another name for basic method. These are instructional relationships that always hold true devoid of setting so long as the appropriate conditions are met.

Demonstration: Where an example or model representing the whole task or problem to be completed is presented to the learner. These include how to’s, worked examples and non-examples. Explaining how a task is to be solved (task progression) and indicating important information about how the task is to be completed is an important aspect of demonstration.

Activation (Prior Knowledge): Where learners are provided with a conceptual model or other cognitive device that invites learners to invoke what they already know in order to make connections to new knowledge.

SIVOS (Synchronized Video Observation System): Is software built on top of a database application for viewing and analyzing classroom videos. The concept is based on the integration of an on screen video frame containing classroom-teaching episodes alongside a structured teaching evaluation rubric. The application is of significance because it allows for the fine-grained and iterative analysis of classroom teaching episodes.

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