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Shaping the Future of Teacher Education

Emir Plicanic
Emir Plicanic

December 02, 2016

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Vosaic provides video analysis solutions that uncover insights for performance-based skills. Stanford University Graduate School of Education uses Studiocode, the Vosaic’s flagship video analysis software, to improve the instruction of professional development workshops for teachers.

Overview

The Stanford University Graduate School of Education (GSE) conducted an analysis of data from a research project that took place in Colorado to better understand the facilitation of professional development workshops for teachers. The original study was conducted in a single school district in Colorado with the objective of preparing teacher leaders to facilitate the Problem-Solving Cycle model of professional development in their schools. The analysis conducted by the Stanford University GSE research team focused specifically on the video-based discussions in the Problem-Solving Cycle workshops. 

Challenge

The Problem-Solving Cycle is an iterative model of professional development designed to enhance teachers’ knowledge of math and student thinking, and improve their instructional practices. It consists of a series of workshops where teachers work together to solve a problem and then determine the best way to teach the problem to students. In subsequent workshops, they discuss video from the lessons they taught. The research group performed an analysis to determine which aspects of the professional development workshop facilitators were performing well, and which were more difficult to perform. 

Objective

The goal was to discover similarities and differences in their facilitation, uncover patterns, and ultimately identify ways to improve the performance of facilitators in their new roles as professional development leaders. 

Solution

Although qualitative characteristics of facilitator performance are often difficult to measure, Vosaic’s Studiocode video analysis enabled the Stanford University GSE to code their research to produce quantitative data. The data highlighted specific areas of strength and areas for improvement. Using the coding tool within Studiocode, the researchers marked and labeled events by category, including: focus on the student, focus on the teacher, and general mathematics. These instances became data points that could be easily viewed in a matrix that compared the facilitators’ video-based discussions and allowed the researchers to correlate features of the discussions such as the amount of time spent talking about a specific category and the performance of the facilitator. Studiocode’s flexibility allowed the researchers to craft their own rating system, tag specific events, and identify the relationships between facilitation moves and features of the video-based discussions. 

Results

Studiocode software allowed the research group at the Stanford University GSE to study the actions and conversations that contributed to a successfully led professional development workshop. As the study continues, researchers will be able to isolate the actions of the facilitators to help shape how future facilitators are trained and provide specific guidance to improve effectiveness of professional development workshops. Video analysis and the subsequent coding provided a quantifiable way to study facilitator behaviors and produce data-driven conclusions that have implications for improving performance. 


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