Feedback, Reflection, and Assessment Practices in Practicum Placements: The Underpinning Research Design and Methodology

Feedback, Reflection, and Assessment Practices in Practicum Placements: The Underpinning Research Design and Methodology

Christopher Dann (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2630-8.ch002
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The purpose of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, it defines the methodology used as a basis for the research findings presented in this text. Secondly, it describes the methods used to investigate the video feedback and formative assessment processes in a preservice teacher education program in regional Australia. Particular attention is given to Participatory Action Learning Action Research (PALAR), which was used in a four-year study that investigated the extent to which a mobile video capture application impacted on preservice teacher assessment while on practicum placements. Methods of each PALAR cycle are presented to explain how these were used in a coordinated manner to ensure the reliability of the outputs of the study. The chapter concludes by recognising the limitations of the study and describing future research opportunities arising from the study.
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Overview Of The Research Design

Action research has many variations, thus these needed to be considered before Participatory Action Learning Action Research (PALAR) was selected for this extensive research project (Kemmis, et al., 2014). Action Research (AR), Participatory Action Research (PAR), Action Learning (AL) and Participatory Action Research Action Learning (PARAL) are all forms of action research and action learning (Zuber-Skerritt, 2011). Kearney, Wood and Zuber-Skerritt (2013) advised PALAR as the preferred methodology for community-university partnerships because it is able to achieve a holistic outcome that benefits the common interest. In keeping with this the present study focused on the relationship between university educators, supervising teachers in schools, and the university preservice teachers, not withstanding the importance of the relationship with schools in the whole process. Thus, a PALAR approach best fits the scope of this research in its examination of the interplay between preservice teachers, supervising teachers and the university. These relationships and the six sequential developmental cycles, during which the CeMeE App was developed and trialled, are depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

PALAR cycle overview: the sequential developmental cycles and context of the systematic use of the program CeMeE

In Cycle One the initial prototype called Preservice Teacher Tracker (PTT) reported in Willis, Dann, Lowe, Jones and Toohey (2012) was developed, which was then field-tested in Cycle Two. In Cycle Three it was trialled as PTT in schools during practicums. In Cycle Four the system was recoded and renamed CeMeE as an application for use on an iPad and then this trail was broadened to include other disciplines. From this point the application is referred to as CeMeE or the CeMeE App. This trial found the use of CeMeE was problematic in the school context owing to its incompatibility with the schools and government firewalls and operating systems. As a result of this technical difficulty CeMeE was reconfigured for Cycle five to allow it to operate in the school environment, and this was tested within the university network, followed by advance testing in the school environments. Cycle five proved its stability and it was then applied in Cycle six with practicum placements of preservice teachers completing and undergraduate degree in primary teaching.

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