University of Westminster (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 2518-2523
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Virtual training environments are used for several professionals such as doctors and pilots. Teachers could also benefit from a ‘virtual training environment’ (VTE) for teaching purposes. The aim of such an environment is to offer users the chance to observe how ‘real-classes’ work and how several situations are handled by teachers. Furthermore, it should allow users to test their knowledge and understanding on teaching practices.
In this paper we present the results of a research project funded by the “Westminster Exchange” “Teaching and Learning Fund – 2009” at the University of Westminster, London. The aim of the project was to investigate tools to be used for the training of future teachers in a virtual environment.
Among other tools we went through, we attempted to meet the above objectives by using videos from real classes. The aim is to present trainees with as many different and complicated situations as possible. The value of observing professionals in their work is appreciated in all disciplines. Especially in teaching, ‘field-trips’ are organised for future teachers. There is an on-going discussion within the academic community if videos could replace field-trips. We do not want to enter into this discussion here. Apparently, each one of the two approaches – observing a real class or attending a video that presents a real class – has different advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious advantage when we observe a real class is that we live the atmosphere of the class – sense of space, sounds, colours, smells – something that is mostly lost in a video. On the other hand using a video has the advantage that it allows us to replay it as many times as we like in order to understand the reaction of the teacher and / or the student. We did not use videos for presentation purposes only. In addition we created several exercises in order to give students the chance to test their understanding on class management and techniques used in the classroom. At the moment and for the needs of this prototype, all videos are analysed from teacher’s point of view and try to explain how the teacher works in the classroom. In the future we will attempt to analyse those videos from students’ perspective.
Visual Basic 2008 and Sql were used in order to create the prototype for the “VTE for teachers.” For the analysis of videos we used ‘Camtasia Studio 5’, Macromedia FLASH, Macromedia Fireworks and Windows Video Maker. All videos used in this prototype are from “Teachers’ TV” website – a web site funded by the “Department for Children, Schools and Families” (DCSF) in UK, and operated by the independent media consortium, ‘Education Digital’ (
Virtual Training Environments, Videos, Educational Technologies.