How This Teacher Uses Video To Conduct Action Research

JoEllen Dunn – a seventh grade science teacher at Long Branch Middle School in Long Branch, New Jersey – is using video to turn reflection into research.

JoEllen and her peers at Long Branch use Edthena to conduct action research. They select relevant skills and strategies they want to improve on over the course of a year or semester, record themselves executing those skills, and then reflect with their administrators on their progress with video.

“What I was really trying to focus on in my action research plan were discussion protocols. Essentially how I’m helping students talk science in the classroom,” JoEllen said, when we sat down for her Teacher Voices interview.

“I’ve been working on the same protocols all year,” she said. “I actually have an assignment coming up in which I’m going to go back and do the same discussion protocol with the same class. I will collect data so I can compare how many kids participated at the beginning of the year to how many are participating and responding positively now. My coach and I will then debrief on my findings.”

Video, JoEllen said, has been a critical component of her research, in that it helps her see how exactly she’s progressing as a teacher. It’s also enabled her to make tangible adjustments to her practice.

“One big thing I noticed in my first video of the year was that I was always moving around the room. This works well sometimes, but I realized it was distracting in times when I needed all eyes on me. It was through video that I noticed in such moments I need to stand in the front of the class instead of walk around.”

JoEllen’s interview was the latest in our Teacher Voices series. To watch the previous Teacher Voices installment, click here.

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