title - rfr project TDA logo heppell.net link

This project is now in its second phase.
It is run by heppell.net and funded by the UK's Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).
Technical development is the responsibility of long time collaborator Alex Blanc of Allrollover who are working in collaboration with heppell.net

Early Indicative Findings

Observation v Assessment.

Following some intensive questioning of NQTs during the school recruitment and set up stage it has become obvious that early reluctance to participate in this project is because observation is currently used mainly as a tool for assessment, specifically according to NQTs, to assess classroom behaviour management.

Even amongst SMTs the concept of using observation for self analysis and critique was not considered the main objective, and yet we know through research that this form of observation can be very effective in improving practice.

All NQTs involved in the project welcomed, and immediately understood the value of using the observation video to examine, improve and develop their classroom practice. They welcomed the idea of being in control of the video and that the decision to share was empowering for them. Their enthusiasm and excitement was obvious.

Several NQTs mentioned the fact that the video, and associated comments, would enable them to evidence targets to place in their NQT folders. Two NQTs mentioned the fact that they could use the comments to demonstrate to their learning mentor that they were concentrating on target setting by annotating the video in this way.

Synchronous v asynchronous

The project team considered using synchronous communications, streamed directly to a remote server, to provide instant feedback from the NQT lesson to observers who were not present in the classroom.

This would have the advantage that;

In this model the classroom observation tool would be mainly one for assessment, used in assessing the NQTs competencies.

Putting the control with the NQT pushed the project team to an asynchronous solution. The advantages of this were;

Portability of hardware

Even at this stage it is obvious that many secondary schools require a portable solution for classroom observation as they have a number of NQTs within the school. SMTs, seeing the immediate value of such a system are already keen to move the kit a number of times during the trials to expose a number of NQTs to the experience.

Although the kit provided is a portable installation in a classroom it does take roughly one to one and a half hours to install. The cameras are wirelessly connected to the computer but they do require a power supply. This means that placement is limited by available power sockets. Health and safety concerns demands that leads are contained which further restricts placement.

The team are currently refining the system to develop a hardware solution that is not only cost effective but more easily portable as this is already a request of the participating schools.



remote feedback and reflection in teaching - this page last updated Wednesday, May 18, 2011 16:03