About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4307-4315
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.2014

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


G. Lowe, D. Faniglione

Birmingham City University (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) team in the School of Education at Birmingham City University (BCU) has been experimenting and implementing innovative ways of developing pre-service teachers’ interview skills. The literature suggests that the ability to learn from mistakes in a simulated environment is becoming increasingly valued in ITE (Ferry et al, 2004; Yeh, 2007; Passig & Moshe, 2008), therefore, in partnership with the learning technology team within the Centre of Excellence for Learning and Teaching (CELT), a series of online simulations have been developed and trialled to provide students with an opportunity to test their interview skills in a virtual environment, where they can safely make, and learn from, mistakes. Appropriate classroom and independent studies activities are then developed by the academic team to support students in reflecting on those mistakes and, by planning for improvement, guide their learning journeys and skill development. In line with the ethos of the virtual learning environment in which the virtual interview resources are hosted and Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning paradigm, trainees bring their own skills, experiences and attitudes to the simulations and they behave just as they would in the real world. A virtual panel recorded video interview question banks covering a range of areas. The identification of these areas and the design of the questions have been informed by conversation with potential employers. Students watch and listen to a question from a member of the panel. This is randomly selected from a question bank by the software ensuring that each trainee has a similar, but slightly different interview. Students respond to the virtual interview panel while being assessed by either a tutor, a peer or themselves. While students are articulating their response to the assessor (or themselves), the virtual panel is still on screen as a video loop, and videoed panel members display “listening” body language (i.e.: nodding their head, leaning forward, etc.), adding an extra layer of realism of the simulation. On completion of the response, a code is input by the assessor to both record the assessment of the response and trigger next question. This paper reports on the design and initial evaluation results of the trial and implementation of this resource. A series of focus groups have been conducted with volunteer pre-service teachers, and members of the academic team. Initial findings relate to trainees’ limited previous interview experience for any employment, including teaching posts, limited strategies to support them at interview and usefulness of interview scenarios in providing an opportunity to strengthen interview skills. Feedback highlighted how the realism of the questions and the format in which they were presented made them think carefully and have to focus more than in discursive training activities. Useful learning points included the need to prepare carefully and identify the specific school’s priorities and ethos. Staff feedback related to trainees being less well-equipped for interviews than anticipated, therefore the experience as assessors provided good insights to plan for personalised and group interventions, and challenge preconceptions. The realism of the questions and the visual clues of panel was a considerable added value, as it contributed to creating a similar level of “pressure” to a real interview that is difficult to replicate in role-play activities.
author = {Lowe, G. and Faniglione, D.},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.2014},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.2014},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4307-4315}}
AU - G. Lowe AU - D. Faniglione
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.2014
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 4307
EP - 4315
ER -
G. Lowe, D. Faniglione (2016) VIRTUAL TRAINING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF REAL WORLD SKILLS, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 4307-4315.