Multimedia Observations: Examining the Roles and Learning Outcomes of Traditional, CD-ROM Based, and Videoconference Observations in Pre-service Teacher Education
The purpose of this study was to examine the role and learning outcomes of three types of classroom observations in a teacher education methods course: video-based CD-ROMS, videoconference-supported observations, and traditional face-to-face observations. It was not the goal of this study to compare the effectiveness of each type of observation to the other ones; rather, the goal was to examine the role each observation type plays in the overall learning experience of the pre-service teacher, and to investigate the learning outcomes associated with each type of observation. Therefore, this study investigated three questions: 1) What are the advantages/ disadvantages of each observation type? 2) What do the students learn from each observation type? 3) How does the interaction of various types of observation support and/or enhance traditional face to face observations? Results indicate that although the majority of the students preferred face-to-face over technology-supported observations, this was based simply in their preference for being in a real classroom rather than on what they actually learned. More and higher level learning outcomes were associated with the CD and videoconference observations than from the face-to-face observations. Additionally, more advantages of the technology-supported observations were cited than were cited for their face-to-face counterpart.