Text vs. Video Reflections: Teacher Perceptions of their Instructional Effectiveness
TEACHER PERCEPTIONS OF THE
INSTRUCTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS AND
IMPACT OF VIDEO VS. TEXT-BASED
REFLECTIONS AS INSTRUCTIONAL TOOLS
IN ONLINE GRADUATE CLASSES
Maria D. Avgerinou, Ph.D., O.E.T.,
ACS Athens, & Hellenic Open University,
ELEARN 2013- Las Vegas, US
Although especially video-taped reflection has
become a significant component of teacher
education curricula, research on the use of video
has not included a comparison of video-based to
text-based reflections. This study examines pre and
in-service teachers' perceptions of the instructional
effectiveness and impact of video vs. text-based
reflections as instructional tools in six human
development graduate classes.
Literature Review I
Effective teachers engage in reflective practice. The Interstate New
Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium’s (INTASC, 1991, p. 31)
9th core standard for teachers reads: “The teacher is a reflective
practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices
and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the
learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow
Mewborn (1999) argued that pre-service teachers need time to learn
and practice reflective skills in a non-evaluative environment. Bullough
and Baughman (1997) asserted that the first five to seven years of
teaching careers constitute the novice period; these years should be
marked by ongoing reflection, typically in the form of journaling:
diaries, notebooks, dialogues, integrative entries, and evaluative
entries (Sileo, Prater, Luckner & Rhine, 1998).
Literature Review II
Experienced teachers also benefit from ongoing reflection in
similar formats (Bean & Stevens, 2002). For pre- service or inservice teachers who are reflecting on their teaching practice as
they do it, not simply reflecting on a past experience, reflection
typically leads to the solution of specific practical problems (Smith
& Hatton, 1993). Styler and Philleo (2003) recommended the use
of technology to enhance reflective journaling.
Whipp (2003) reported on research about teacher candidates
engaging in field experiences in urban middle schools in which
teacher candidates engaged in increasingly higher levels of
reflection because of online discussions. Rodgers (2002) proposed
four phases in the process of reflection, asserting that reflecting
on action becomes practice for the reflection in action, necessary
for teachers who must make decisions and responses on the spot
repeatedly throughout each teaching day.
Literature Review III
As a result, for the past two decades reflection has become an increasingly
significant component of teacher education curricula (Cheng & Chau, 2009;
Clarke, 2009; Kong, 2010; Jones & McNamara, 2004; Leung & Kember,
2003; Pollard, 2000; Rhine & Bryant, 2007; Rodgers, 2002; Schon, 1983;
Sturges & Reyna, 2010; Wang & Hartley, 2003). Avgerinou, Carroll,
Spelman, and Hanlon (2005) note that “custom design of reflection
opportunities appears to be the best choice for teacher education
professors. This is especially true when those custom designs are based on
the instructional design (particularly objectives) and delivery of the course,
strengths as well as specific needs of the teacher candidates and their
instructors, and the ongoing call for thoughtful reflection in a “peoplebased” profession where infinite variables continue to influence
effectiveness.” (p. 27)
One popular form of reflection is conducted on videotaped records of
teachers' field experiences, and/or practice. However, research on the use
of video in that context has not included a comparison of video-based to
the traditional text-based reflections when both focus on linking theory to
one's own past personal, and current or future professional experience.
This study examines pre and in-service teachers'
perceptions of the instructional effectiveness and
impact of video vs. text-based reflections as
instructional tools in six human development
The study addresses the following questions:
is the visual reflection experience different to the
narrative one ? If so, how?;
are there any pluses, or minuses in reflecting visually
vs. reflecting via text?;
what does the participant like/dislike about the visual
what learning occurred for the participant during the
video reflection experience?, and
how does the participant report that s/he has already
applied, or would apply it?
Methodology & Project Description
¨ This descriptive study (survey) has involved 84 pre
and in service online students (47 females, & 37
males). Of those, 79 participated in the regular
academic quarter run of the course, and 5 in the
summer quarter run of the course.
Project Description I
As part of the assessed coursework of five Human Development classes, occurring
four during the regular academic quarters (11 weeks) 2011& 2012 and one
in the Summer quarter (5 weeks) 2011, students are required to:
¨ Regular Quarter Students: produce four text-based self-reflections and three
text-based critiques of other students' reflections. These are posted on D2L.
Students are also required to produce three video-based self-reflections (3
minutes) and three video-reflection critiques via youTube, and to post them to
our private Ning platform.
¨ Summer Quarter Students: produce three text-based self-reflections as well
as three video-based self-reflections (3 minutes). The text-based reflections
are posted on D2L whereas the you-Tube produced video-based reflections
are posted on Ning.
¨ Both groups: As an optional activity and following instructor-set prompts,
students can produce speed reflections (max 150 words) on their experience
as contributors and viewers of videos. Thus speed self-reflections are used as
informal surveys within the context of this study.
Project Description II
This study has utilized all aforementioned visual and textual
material which are treated via the content analysis method.
Extra credit has been offered to those who consented to
participate in this study by submitting their speed reflections
to the Ning platform. There is no consequences for those who
do not wish to participate. The study does not present any
conceivable risk to vulnerable populations although at this
point the instructor is not aware of any such being part of
the human development class. Once final grading is
submitted for all participating classes, and all video and
text-based data are collected and codified by the instructor,
data will be removed from Ning and from the D2L platform.
Data is stored in the instructor's computer which is password
Question 1: is the visual reflection experience different
to the narrative one ? If so, how?;
Students found the visual reflection experience more challenging than
the narrative both in terms of production and in terms of sharing.
Production is discussed in terms of comfort with technology, as well as
comfort with speaking in front of the webcam while trying to keep
focused on, and concise in the discussion of the the reflection topic.
Sharing is identified as difficult because some reflections are too
personal to be recorded.
A few students reported that written reflections are more
straightforward and take fewer steps to be produced. Written
reflections are also more comprehensive while video reflections may
sound like ramblings if not focused on a particular topic. One student
reported that if focused, a video reflection can be as insightful as a
Students report that experience and practice of producing self video
reflections, personal presentation style on camera, as well as interest
in reflection topics are factors that affect the quality of the final
video reflection as much as they would with a written reflection.
Question 2: are there any pluses, or minuses in reflecting
visually vs. reflecting via text?;
Advantages: see/hear others’ talking; more personable;
conversational and casual style; more like a classroom
discussion; “getting to know” others online; more concise (due
to the 3 minute limit); more constructive; using new
Disadvantages: learning curve; time consuming; editing
entire video even if just need to correct one section;
producing multiple videos to end up with a final one; more
concerned about privacy; lack of eye contact; digital stage
fright; students feel self conscious and easily distracted in
front of the webcam; challenging for non-native English
speakers; requires lots of practice; less focused and less
comprehensive because of casual and conversational style
Question 3: what does the participant like/dislike about
the visual reflection experience?
It was not easy to distinguish between responses
that related to Question 2, and those referring to
Question 3. In other words, typically what was
discussed as advantages of the visual reflections
were also liked by the students; whereas what was
reported as disadvantages, was also disliked by
Question 4: what learning occurred for the
participant during the video reflection experience?
Overall, students reported developing their technology skills
as a result of participating in the visual reflection activity.
Production of the videos and then embedding them into the
Ning, despite a challenging adventure, was viewed as more
educationally rewarding than just participating in online
discussions via posting e.g. VoiceThread comments.
There is no specific mention to their critical reflection skills
and how video reflections helped develop them (or not)
A few students have become more aware of issues such as
producing a visual that can effectively attract and maintain
the audience’s interest, and, protecting privacy and
Question 5: how does the participant report that s/
he has already applied, or would apply it?
Participants report that they are satisfied with the
technology skills they have developed as a result of
activity, and would attempt to use both youTube and
Ning in their current or future classes.
They are impressed with the creativity aspect of such
projects, and their educational potential.
They also report that due to using the specific
technology, they now understand more the digital native
generation, but they are also more mindful with such
issues as privacy and video-recording minors in schools.
Discussion and Conclusion
Despite the fact that most students admit to the many advantages of
the video reflection, and report feeling more comfortable with
practice thus more satisfied with the 2nd and 3rd video reflections, they
would still opt for the written over the video reflections.
This feeling is also shared by students who identify themselves as
auditory learners and who at the beginning of this experience
seemed to be more favorable toward it than producing written
This result is readily understood for the data set collected via the
Summer Session, where students had only three weeks of exposure to
the video reflections.
It is not however as easily justified for the regular quarter students
who experimented with video reflections for about 10 weeks.
Therefore more follow up research in the form of targeted interviews
is required. At the same time, perhaps more exposure to video
reflections should be required (i.e. increase them to more than 3) for
Screen Shot of the Homepage of
the Visual Reflection Ning
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