SLIDE TO UNLOCK NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEEDBACK. THE POTENTIAL OF THE TABLET FOR TEACHER TRAINING

C. Frijns

KU Leuven - University of Leuven (BELGIUM)
In teacher training, the students’ in-school training is complemented by internships at schools, where students are generally visited once or twice by a teacher trainer to evaluate their classroom practice. Studies on task-based learning, however, have shown learning is accelerated by challenging students to complete meaningful tasks, by creating interaction opportunities with peers and teacher trainers and by providing process-oriented feedback in a safe learning environment (Van den Branden, 2006). Due to practical limitations, process-oriented peer and teacher trainer feedback is in most higher education institutions rather hard to realize when it comes to internships. One school visit can only give a random indication of the students’ competences at a given moment in time and is therefore not enough to provide process-oriented feedback. This presentation focuses on the question how technology can transform the current learning environment in a more interactive one, with special attention for process-oriented peer and teacher trainer feedback. In this way, this study wants to contribute to research into technology-mediated task-based learning (Gonzalez-Lloret & Ortega, 2014).

Within the framework of an education innovation project, funded by the Association KU Leuven, a field study has been executed with 18 students, divided into 2 groups with 2 teacher trainers. Students were challenged to set up a participatory action research in their internship school where they solved a real task based on their own needs or those of the internship school. Students explored how they could, for example, boost reading pleasure of pupils or create a stronger group atmosphere among pupils. While undertaking the participatory action research, students documented their classroom practice by filming themselves. Students reflected upon their practice by editing the fragments into a video with commentary. Videos were shared in a closed Facebook-group where peers were challenged to advice each other on possible next steps in the action research process. The teacher trainers had access to these groups as well and were invited to provide process-oriented feedback.

To measure the perceived effects of the tablet intervention, focus groups with the students and teachers were organized. Students report to have learned more by (1) observing themselves as they watched and commented their video recordings and (2) interacting with peers and teacher trainers on how to improve their classroom actions. Teacher trainers report to have acquired a more complete perspective on their students’ daily practice, which made process-oriented feedback more possible than before. In this way, formulated using the framework of the SAMR-model (Puentedura, 2012), the didactic integration of the tablet in teacher training caused an educational transformation. Although research with larger groups is necessary to draw general conclusions, the tablet seems to be a promising tool to contribute to a (more) interactive learning environment for future teachers.

References:
[1] Gonzalez-Lloret, M. & Ortega, L. (2014). Technology-mediated TBLT. Researching Technolgy and Tasks. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins 2014.
[2] Puentedura, R.R. (2012, August 23). The SAMR Model: Background and Exemplars [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://hippasus.com/rrpweblog
[3] Van den Branden, K. (2006). Task-Based Language Education. From theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.