J. Clinton1, J. Hattie1, K. Cairns1, A. Dabrowski1, S. Brcan1, T. Abrahams2

1University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
Teaching and learning is too often hidden. Teachers infrequently reflect on their impact in the classroom, and further, rarely engage in constructive discourse with their colleagues around teaching methods. Teacher talk is often dominated by war stories rather than an evidence-informed view of learning. This is problematic, as we know that teachers who impact upon student attainment understand their level of influence, and possess the drive, skills and resources to collect and review evidence to support this impact. While considerable resource is expended annually on professional learning programs to support development in teacher practice, these are often criticised for being far-removed from the realities of teaching, with the take-away messages difficult to apply and embed within the classroom.

It was these observations that prompted the development of an innovative system to embed meaningful, real-time evaluation within the classroom, facilitating a feedback loop between teachers and students. The University of Melbourne in collaboration with Ai Media have developed a system that converts speech to text in real time in the classroom, and utilises automated teaching analytics and in-depth coding of the lesson transcript to provide feedback that supports development in teacher practice. Theoretically we understand what excellence in teacher practice looks like; this technology enables the practical application and translation of this knowledge into the classroom.

Providing useful feedback for teachers in real time, based on sound educational pedagogy, fits with models of best teaching practice like Visible Learning (Hattie, 2008). The impact of this technology is in making the content of the lesson explicit and encouraging teachers to critically assess what they have done and what their students have learned as a consequence. The system is designed to promote increased reflection upon practice, improvement in the visibility of teaching and learning, and to facilitate increased student engagement in the learning process. The model has shown to be most powerful for students who struggle with the rapid speed of instruction, extensive teacher talk time, multiple instructions per task, and lower levels of self-regulation. The system is also designed to promote the development of professional learning communities, such that teachers use the transcripts as a basis to initiate discussions with their colleagues around teaching methods and impact, and to facilitate them to work with colleagues to identify strategies for improvement.

In this paper, we will describe the pedagogical model that underpins this integrated teaching and learning development system. We will demonstrate the technology and its applications, present some preliminary results from a trial in the United Kingdom, and discuss the broader implications for teaching and learning.