User Stories | October 25, 2017

Research Shows Swivl Improves Teacher Education Programs

Wendy McCracken, PhD, and Helen Chilton are lecturers and researchers at the University of Manchester in the Deaf Education Programme, and their study using Swivl within their teacher education program has just concluded with great success. One of the things that you might not realize about deaf education in the UK is that students and new teachers alike are educated quite similarly to the way all students and new teachers are taught. The methods needed to create transformational teachers, and what defines student achievement, are not limited by disability. Unlike in the US, in the UK, most deaf students rely on cochlear implants and lip reading instead of sign language. This allows deaf and hearing-impaired students to learn alongside their hearing-abled peers in typical classrooms. This also means that teachers of the deaf are instructing a wide range of students, not just the hearing-impaired.

The research of McCracken and Chilton specifically focused on how remote observations could be used in both the supervision of student teacher placements, and the benefits video observations would have for these student teachers. For the student teachers who used Swivl, some of their promising initial results demonstrated that video recordings were able to break down barriers between professors and their students, allowing for enhanced conversations about the recorded sessions. Another great success in their study was attributed to improved self-reflection by students: “Student ToDs reported that the use of Swivl actively promoted reflection, providing a new window through which they could see their own practice and critically self appraise.” This conclusion is supported by the ongoing research study conducted by Harvard University, which has overwhelmingly promoted the importance of self-reflection through classroom video observation (Best Foot Forward Project).

The researchers also found Swivl was immensely helpful in the practice of student self-assessment. “The use of Swivl directly supported students’ self-assessment and prepared them for a more active discussions with their tutors. In this case, genuinely engaged students and supervisors found it developmentally valuable for students who have to “own their own work, speak for it and value it through the grading process”. It also allowed students to stand back and observe their own practice, providing an opportunity to positively react to it.” With Swivl, student teachers were able to not only assess their teaching for improvement before seeking feedback from their mentors, but were also able to uniquely to assess and reflect upon their interactions with students in the classrooms in which they were placed in.

Chilton and McCracken summed up their research succinctly: “This technology allows quality supervision to be offered to all students, wherever their location, actively supporting the development of reflective skills. Its application to other student cohorts who undertake practicums is recognised and being developed at this University.” Whether you are instructing new teachers, supporting newly graduated teachers in your school, or are a teacher yourself, video observations with the Swivl program have been shown to be a priceless tool in the journey to becoming an exceptional teacher.

We invite you to join our webinar on November 2nd at 12:30pm PST/3:30pm EST/7:30pm GMT with Wendy McCracken and Helen Chilton. The conversation will be on their research and how it is applicable for improvement in all teacher education programs. Learn more about the importance of self-reflection in teacher education, how video observations can strengthen bonds between student teachers and their mentors, and the next steps they will be taking with Swivl in their program at the University of Manchester. Click below to register. Attendance will be limited.