Accredited CDP using Teacher's TV
Monday, 18 July 2005


Hilary Bourdillon is working with Dr Norbert Pachler on the development of accredited Continuing Professional Development using Teachers' TV / digital video.

The Institute of Education is a partner in Teachers’ TV, together with Brook Lapping and ITV. See The unique insights into classroom practice to be found in the Channel's programmes and accompanying material, provide a rich resource for teachers’ work-based and professional development.

For the Institute a key question surrounding this partnership is how best to integrate Teachers' TV into accredited courses, and how best to make this material accessible on a national scale. This project aims to maximise the use of Teachers' TV through interactive technologies to support teaching and learning around school-focused/classroom enquiry (work-based and professional learning). The multi-media resources created around Teachers' TV could also create a shared area of communication for all the 'teacher-as-researcher' modules found across a range of courses in the IoE.

The value of using digital video showing classroom practice and the pedagogic purposes of such resources is well established. Within an eLearning environment the inclusion of digital TV programmes would enable visual narrative, allow users to explore ideas sequentially at their own pace and enable interactivity of sound/image and text as a pedagogic device.  In promoting excellence in teaching focused on distance education, the project will explore the question as to how effectively such an environment supports work-based and professional learning. In doing this it will build on the considerable expertise to be found in the Institute of Education in the use of ICTs and eLearning tools to support student learning.

There are three main aspects to this work:

  1. The integration of Teachers' TV within exisiting courses
  2. The development of three 30 credit modules at H and M level focusing on using digital video and additional web-based materials for school-based professional development
  3. The development of on-line learning which begins with some sort of 'needs analysis' in terms of tying the module in with teachers' understandings and identified professional learning.

A key feature of this is the development and evaluation of tools within a web environment which will provide students with access to:

  • selected programmes and linked readings in a format which facilitates discussion;
  • particular sections from a range of Teachers’ TV programmes;
  • 'expert' views on the programmes;
  • collaborative tools that facilitate discussion of the content.

Example scenario

The following scenario attempts to illustrate some of the issues surrounding the integration of Teachers' TV within an eLearning module for professional learning. It indicates the areas to be explored in terms of how a particular pedagogy might be realised within the module study, and then how the eLearning environment would support this.

Community of Practice/socio-cultural

This approach assumes that learning is a social process and that an academic discipline represents a community into which a student is encultured.
Activities within the eLearning environment could be:

Students following the module study different approaches to educational research and teacher-as-researcher. They are provided with set readings and other resources and have access to three examples form the Teachers' TV archive showing school/classroom practice. They have access to an online forum, where, at regular intervals different 'experts' are brought in to discuss different research methodologies in relation to the classrooms. Through engagement with experts and tutors and each other, students are brought into action research culture and take part in a legitimate activity. Students have to plan a collaborative activity to produce a proposal for investigating further some of the issues raised by the programmes.

Aspects of eLearning 

To support this learning scenario, the environment would need a range of media resources in the form of video, text, and audio. Much of the learning will be based around discussion, so a threaded discussion board allowing easy access to external users will be a main tool. This needs to be embedded within the content so discussion can refer to particular parts of the Teachers' TV Programmes or an article. There will also be a need for easy webcasting whereby experts can give short talks from their own locations. Additionally, the students would benefit from a range of collaborative tools that facilitate the discussion of the content. These might include shared whiteboards, instant messaging, annotation tools that allow students to share comments on text and video.

Longer term outcomes

Increasingly, distance education methodologies using web-based multi-media resources are becoming an integral part of teaching and learning in all Higher Education and professional development courses. So, in addition to the main aims of this project, outlined above, this work has the potential to produce the following positive outcome:

  • this  eLearning environment could be used by several other courses which include a school-based teacher enquiry (action research) component e.g. Professional Diploma in Teaching and Learning, the MTeach and the OMRes. The facility with which the electronic environment could bring these separate strands of action research together would create synergies across courses.