How to Improve Teachers' Self-Reflection Practice

Emir Plicanic
Emir Plicanic

October 08, 2017

Self-reflection plays an important role in every teacher’s professional development. Specifically, it helps teachers get a better idea of what good instruction looks like. The research shows a distinction between "reflection in practice" and "reflection on practice".

  • Reflection in practice refers to in-the-moment thinking.

  • Reflection on practice requires teachers to remember past actions, and evaluate what worked and what didn't.

Both types of reflection come with challenges.

Reflection in practice requires the teacher to see and hear everything. For example, while the teacher is helping a single student, he or she may miss off-task students elsewhere in the classroom.

Reflection on practice relies on teachers memory to remember every detail with accuracy. Yet memory can only deliver "big" moments at best, and discards the many details that good self-reflection practice requires.

How Vosaic Can Help

Many school districts have added the use of video in their classrooms to improve self-reflection practice. If your school district is not using video, please get in touch with us. We'd love to help if we can. While video makes self-reflection practice more effective, it’s accompanied with a challenge of efficiency—unless you have tools for managing it.

This is where Vosaic comes in. It not only allows teachers to record videos using mobile devices (or other cameras), it also includes custom self-reflection rubrics for coding, and annotating video. Performance discovery with video would not be possible without custom rubrics. 

But watching oneself in a video is not easy. We quickly notice how many times we say "um", or "like", or get distracted by our body language, sound of our voice, or other "ticks". Sometimes those are the things you want to look for, but if not managed, those distractions get in the way of meaningful self-reflection. One way to manage them is to use self-reflection rubrics. Rubrics help teachers focus on teaching practices, learning, and students, instead of distractions.

Vosaic rubrics are part of the video player. This makes the self-reflection process even more efficient, focused, and immersive.

Immersive and focused self reflection with Vosaic
Immersive and focused self reflection with Vosaic

What's more, keeping rubrics tied to videos allows teachers to instantly see the evidence of their practice. No more referring to separate documents. Everything is in one place.

The efficiency of Vosaic doesn't stop there. Supervisors and instructional coaches can code/mark-up video of the practice—as it is being recorded and uploaded to the cloud.

Marking up lectures while being recorded in Vosaic iPad app
Marking up lectures while being recorded in Vosaic iPad app

Once the recording is done, instructional coaches can immediately review the lecture with the teacher. If there's no time to review right after the lecture, the video can be securely accessed from anywhere at a time that works best for everyone.

Because the video is coded/marked-up live, teachers can skip parts that are not as important for review, and focus on marked-up moments only.

Vosaic timeline showing important moments to focus on
Vosaic timeline showing important moments to focus on

This reduces the opportunity for distraction and makes the self-reflection process more efficient.

In Summary

The use of video recording is necessary for self-reflection to be effective. But using video without good tools presents challenges of efficiency and distraction. Vosaic is an efficient solution that allows teachers to quickly and easily focus on moments that improve performance, instead of distractions.

Try Vosaic for free today!

Getting Started With Video Toolkit (PDF).

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