Story From The Field

Live Interactive Video Feedback

Set up a way to give teachers the advice they need ‘in the moment’ during a lesson.

How To Guide

Live Interactive Video Feedback

Implemented by
Profile chi

Chris B

Based on Ideas by

Chris B, Samantha S, Robert W

Inspired by the Experiences of

Mindi K-R, Chris B, Kate F, Jessica H

Set up a way to give teachers the advice they need ‘in the moment’ during a lesson.

What You'll Need

Effort Hours Days Weeks Months

Two cell phones, one connected to a headset or earpiece; One wifi-enabled video recording device, like an iPad, with FaceTime installed. If a non-Apple device is used; Google Hangouts will work; A computer /tablet that can use the same videochat app (Facetime/Google Hangouts).

How To


Agree on a focus and norms for feedback. Realtime feedback is best focused on one specific goal, such as using appropriate wait time when questioning, or pacing to make sure the teacher gets through all parts of a lesson. A teacher who gets feedback on multiple aspects of teaching throughout a lesson may get overwhelmed. Along with a focus, a teacher and coach should agree on how feedback will be provided (e.g. in no more than three our words, only when no one in the classroom is talking, etc.). They should also discuss various non-verbal signals the teacher can give to the coach (e.g. touching one’s ear to signal that a direction wasn’t heard clearly). Says Bruggeman: “It’s really important for them to get an understanding of how they’ll communicate beforehand.” Bruggeman sees the biggest potential for live feedback in supporting teachers in moving from basic to proficient performance in specific aspects of practice. Teachers struggling in lots of areas may only get more stressed by getting feedback while in the middle of teaching. A teacher who’s mastered the basics, however, may be able to give a little more attention to realtime suggestions.


Set up the system, and test it. For the audio, the coach simply calls the teacher by cell phone, while the teacher wears an earset. A video feed is set up by positioning a device, such as an iPad, to capture the scene in the classroom (be it the whole room, or small group work) and starting a video chat (with FaceTime or Google Hangouts) with the coach’s laptop or tablet. Some tips: A basic tablet holder, book stand, or improvised prop should suffice to keep the classroom video device in position. A more advanced set up is to use a Swivl, a small stand—costing a few hundred dollars—that holds a smartphone and moves automatically to keep the focus on a small wireless device that the teacher wears. Mute the sound on the devices used for the video chat. Otherwise the whole class will hear the coach’s directions; Wireless earsets have limited range, so if using one a teacher should still keep the phone with her (e.g. in a pocket) as she moves about; Test the system to make sure the teacher and coach can hear each other, that the coach can see what’s going on in the classroom, and that there’s sufficient bandwidth in the locations to handle the live video feed without freezing up.


Provide live feedback during the lesson. Bruggeman suggests keeping the time for feedback to no more than 15 minutes. This allows for focusing on a specific goal, and lessens the chance of overloading a teacher’s attention while leading her class. The teacher and coach should determine ahead of time roughly when the feedback may begin (e.g. as the teacher gives directions for students to work in groups.) Feedback should be given in just a few words (e.g. “ask the class ‘do you agree?’ ” Explains Bruggeman: “Instructions need to be given sparingly, and effectively?”)


Debrief the observation. The coach and teacher should meet, in-person or virtually, as soon as possible after the observation so that the lesson is fresh in their minds. For the most part, the debrief can follow any strong protocol for post-observation conferences. But following a live feedback session, participants should also use the time to discuss the live feedback process (i.e. how it was helpful, and what would make it more so.) The teacher should also ask any clarifying questions about the feedback received during the lesson (e.g. “what did you mean when you said ‘ask him to explain his answer?’ ” The coach can also check the teacher’s understandings (e.g. “Why would it be important to ask him that at that point in the lesson?”)


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