Story From The Field

iSee: A Video-Feedback Process Focused on Teachers’ Own Goals

Connect teachers in a safe space for getting and giving honest and helpful feedback.



How To Guide

iSee: A Video-Feedback Process Focused on Teachers’ Own Goals

Implemented by
Profile katephoto

Kate F

Based on Ideas by

Troy R, Samantha S, Benjamin K

Inspired by the Experiences of

Jackie G, Chris B, Ernie R

Connect teachers in a safe space for getting and giving honest and helpful feedback.

What You'll Need

Effort Hours Days Weeks Months

Smartphone or computer to record and upload video; ImproveClass account and app; Permission forms for anyone shown in videos (provided by ImproveClass)

How To

1

Create an account at ImproveClass and download the free recording app. About as straightforward as Facebook, ImproveClass helps teachers share video-based classroom observations and exchange growth-focused feedback to improve their practice. Teachers control who has access to their videos, and the peer collaboration process can be completely anonymous. Go to www.improveclass.com to get started and download the free app. ImproveClass automatically shares classroom observations with teachers implementing similar curriculum to foster collaboration and spark a relevant discussion. To help Fanelli test her particular process with teachers who didn’t know each other, ImproveClass selected three registered users to form a private iSee community to share videos and provide feedback using the iSee guidelines. Limiting the number of videos a teacher reviewed to three helps keep the iSee process from overtaxing participants while ensuring that everyone received frequent and relevant feedback.

2

Participants should decide what they want to know about their teaching. To do this, Fanelli recommends asking yourself what answers you’d like to hear, and turning that into your question. For example, you might want someone to tell you how well you’re engaging all students, and how you could do better. Dabney West, a first-grade school teacher in Jackson, Wyo., wanted to know how she could give students more concise feedback. For her focus question for viewers, she wrote: “I am working on making my feedback more concise so that students can work on one skill and really focus on what they can do in that moment to be better readers. How can I improve in giving specific feedback to kids?”

3

Record your teaching. Viewers should be able to see and hear enough to formulate an answer to your question. But anything much more than 10 minutes may overtax them. Recording with the ImproveClass app makes it easier to upload than using a smartphone’s standard recorder. Make sure you have permission to record any students or other adults shown. Create a test recording first to make sure you’re able to capture enough of what’s being said and done. West set an iPad in a book holder to record herself engaged in two conferences with students as part of Readers Workshop instruction. Each showed her providing verbal feedback as the students read and discussed a book. Together, they ran for 10 minutes.

4

Upload your video, with your focus question and essential context. Follow the ImproveClass instructions. Include just enough information so viewers know what they’re seeing, and what you want to know. In four short sentences West explained what the video featured and asked her focus question.

5

Provide feedback on three other videos. A key feature of iSee is the expectation that each participant provides feedback on three videos, so everyone gets feedback from three people on their own video. This has several benefits: Participants feel accountable for contributing when they know they need to share video by a certain date, and provide feedback on other videos a few days later. When they provide feedback they’re also thinking about the type of feedback they want to receive. And from Fanelli’s test, participants report learning as much about teaching from watching others as they did getting feedback on their own instruction. As guidance in giving feedback, Fanelli asks participants to provide three types of comments: Here’s something I saw that I liked; Here’s something I think you should be aware of; Here’s an idea or a resource you could use. ImproveClass lets you add comments under the labels “commend, wonder, and suggest,” which roughly correspond to Fanelli’s prompts.

6

Review the feedback on your video, respond, and try out suggestions! A “respond” feature on ImproveClass allows for ongoing discussion with those who provide feedback. West was impressed with the variety of commendations, wonderings, and suggestions she got; some of the latter were especially valuable. At the suggestion of one viewer she recorded students engaged in a high-quality partner conference and used the recording with the class to call out explicitly what makes such a conference successful. Students had a much clearer picture of the process, as a result.


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