Do trainee teachers’ view the use of video as an opportunity or a threat?

With technological advances in digitised recording video now has a firm place in the professional development of teachers, but there is limited research on how trainee teachers perceive the use of video during their initial teaching course.
This study explores the following questions:
• How does video support trainee teachers’ preparation for microteaching?
• What do the trainee teachers learn while observing others?
• What is their cognitive and emotional response to watching others and watching themselves?
• To what extent are they motivated to utilise video in their teaching practice?
This presentation will present the findings from an online questionnaire and three focus groups completed by 82 trainees at the University of Bolton who were preparing to teach in the 14+ Education and Training Skills Sector in the UK. The questionnaire consisted of 13 questions, out of which seven were Likert-scale and six were open-ended. The quantitative analysis suggests that that watching and analysing the in-house video capturing trainee teachers’ peers delivering a microteach lesson made a statistically significant impact on trainees’ confidence levels and this was due to an increase in participants’ understanding of assessment criteria. The thematic analysis of the open-ended questions identified key themes in the trainees’ cognitive and emotional response to watching others: Expectations (Clarification of the task requirements); Evaluations (What to do and what not to do); Cognitive and Emotional Arousal (Reassurance); and Challenges and Limitations. Moreover, the results indicate that the positive impact of the video was increased especially due to its careful implementation into the curriculum.
The focus groups identified diverse responses of trainee teachers to video record their own microteach and their own lessons in their teaching practice. While the trainees appreciated the positive impact of watching others, some of them seemed to be highly critical of any suggestion to be asked to be videoed and to watch themselves. This seems to suggest that when introducing the use of video technology in the teacher training programme, teacher educators need to carefully plan its impact on trainees’ emotional response on seeing themselves teaching.