Practice, Reflection, and Feedback: Practice-Based Learning

Author: Ling Zhang; Samantha Goldman;

Personnel, related services, and leadership preparation programs usually include a wide range of topics for pre-service educators to learn and practice. Providing pre-service educators with practice-based learning opportunities (PLOs) will better prepare them for implementing evidence-based and high-leverage practices (HLPs) upon entering the classroom. What technologies and strategies have you utilized to facilitate practice-based learning in your educator preparation programs? 

CIDDL invited Dr. Sarah Nagro and Dr. Christan G. Coogle to discuss using practice-based learning to enhance teacher performance. Facilitated by Dr. Tara Courchaine, the panel shared research and practices around the use of technology, such as bug-in-ear, video analysis, and video-based reflection, in teacher preparation. Watch the recording for the insightful discussion.

What Do Effective PLOs Look Like?

Preparing profession-ready teachers is complicated; growth in the profession is achievable but does not happen on its own, suggested Dr. Nagro. She highlighted the importance of encouraging educator candidates to shift toward a learner mindset, engaging them in life-long learning, and supporting them with opportunities to practice. These elements speak to the need of facilitating PLOs in educator preparation programs. Dr. Nagro pointed out that the CEEDAR Center defines effective PLOs strategies to provide educator candidates and educators models to support their understanding of how to enact specific HLPs successfully. Pre-service educators need opportunities to practice HLPs in simulated, yet authentic settings and receive feedback on and analyze their practices. Dr. Coogle stressed that providing differentiated feedback and promoting self-reflection is key to improving learning and application with fidelity. 

Technologies and Strategies for PLOs

Technologies, such as bug-in-ear paired with video conferencing, email, text, and simulated or real-life video analysis, support delivery of real-time and/or delayed feedback. The panel specifically discussed four components of video analysis, including Record, Review, Reflect, and ReviseWhat strategies can be used to implement video analysis for PLOs? Dr. Nagro suggested a three-phase procedure: 

  • Phase 1: Understand what evidence-based practices look like (e.g., reflecting on videos of others)
  • Phase 2: Connect practices learned in phase 1 to low-stake scenarios (e.g., reflecting on simulated teaching)  
  • Phase 3: Exame practices in authentic, dynamic contexts (e.g., reflecting on field-based experiences)  

Let’s Continue the Conversation

The conversation was followed by a Q&A session. Live-webinar attendees asked questions about the differences in implementing PLOs with pre-service versus in-service teachers, what PLOs look like in an asynchronous learning setting, and how to support pre-service teachers in shifting their mindset towards life-long learning through PLOs. 

Interested in learning more about PLOs, reading Dr. Nago and Dr. Coogle’s research, and/or accessing the templates for implementing PLOs and other resources they discussed? Head over to our Community, share your ideas and tips about PLOs, collaborate, and access these resources and more!