Back in 2014, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) came across what most universities would say is a good problem to have, they saw a sudden increase in teacher candidates across their entire state. How could they support these candidates effectively to ensure high-quality feedback? They decided to use Edthena, and regardless of the candidate’s zip code, immediate coaching and feedback was able to be provided.
We recently had a (video-based) conversation with Shannon Tabaldo. As the director of the Innovation in Digital Education and Leadership Institute, she detailed LMU’s journey from using video in their pilot phase with Edthena to a full-program video-coaching implementation.
Take as back to the beginning of using Edthena. What was the experience like for the teachers and faculty?
I was the only tech support at LMU at the time we adopted Edthena. So, I was a little worried that I could be constantly up late helping candidates out with the video uploading. With Edthena, I never had any of those issues. Our teacher candidates and faculty were easily able to navigate the systems with a little bit of training and support.
And then what was really magical was that we were able to create a comment at a specific time point in a video. By creating a dialogue at the exact moment that a supervisor felt was important using Edthena, we could really focus and align our learning for our students.
What are some of the benefits that you have witnessed for teacher growth within your program?
By creating coaching conversations at specific points in time in a teacher’s lesson, we were able to better prepare our students for the California Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE’s). We worked with Edthena to build the TPE’s into the system. This allowed us to align our commentary with specific professional skills. Ultimately it proved to be so valuable in helping our candidates pass their TPE’s.
LMU is now using Edthena across multiple programs. What helped spur this growth and adoption?
The initial goal was to start usage exclusively for our teacher candidates. However, what ended up happening late in year one was that our counseling program started using on their own. Because our counseling department also sits in the School of Education, they came to our Edthena information sessions. The counseling department then started to create their courses and experiences in the platform on their own.
This was the turning point for us as the counseling program and teacher preparation faculty all began collaborating amongst themselves to create experiences inside of Edthena. We now were not only serving our Los Angeles candidates. We were serving our candidates in Northern California, the Central Valley, and students in the counseling program, all within the School of Education.
How have things changed for you as the person who led the adoption?
Initially, I was always added as an administrator of every course so I could monitor everything happening in Edthena. But honestly, once each professor had created their course once on their own, they stopped adding me, and now I don’t sit in on any courses anymore.
The department chairs manage the courses by creating the groups and inviting the faculty. Then, the faculty invites their own students to their group. It was neat to see the excitement and passion that our university faculty were having over who was going to be using Edthena and how they were going to use.
Watch our full interview (10 minutes) in the video above. You can also learn more about the iDEAL Institute at LMU on their twitter account, LMU iDEAL Institute.