A9 - Elisabeth Lazarus (Bristol): The road to self discovery? Videopapers a tool for reflection on practice

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  • 1. The road to self discovery? Videopapers a tool for reflection on practiceUCET Conference November 2009 Elisabeth Lazarus


  • My aims today are:
  • Introduce you to videopapers;
  • Outline a project carried out at the University of Bristol from 2005-2007 and which continues in 2009;
  • Investigate the potentialities of videopapers through our case study;
  • Conclude with some remarks about future plans for using videopapers in teacher education;
  • Before opening up the discussion


  • Why videopapers what is different and what is new?
  • Use of video in teacher education is well established (e.g. Sherin 2007, 2003; Tochon 2007, 2001) vignettes; video groups
  • Linking observations of more or less experienced teachers or trainees (real or virtual), with personal practice and experiences
  • Drawing on practitioner-orientated and research-based literature to underpin personal practice
  • Use of Teachers TV and TTRB
  • Mentoring and coaching


  • Why videopapers?
  • Videopapers aremultimedia documentsthat integrate and synchronise video, images and text in one non linear cohesive document (Nemirovsky et al, 2005)
  • Videopapers have grown out of a desire tobridge the theory - practice divide
  • Disseminating research and sharing practicewith others
  • Supportingself-reflection

5. Slides synchronised with the video Video synchronised with the text Play buttons synchronising text to video Hyperlinks to other pages in the videopaper or to external sources Navigation menu/tools Text Closed captions 6.

  • Where did videopapers originate?
  • Developed as part of the Bridging Research and Practice project at TERC (Boston, MA) to create analternative genre for the production, use, and dissemination of educational research.( http:// vpb.concord.org )
  • The project conjectured that teachers, researchers and other communities interested in education could use videopapers to make theirconversations more groundedin actual events, more insightful, and more resistant to oversimplifications.
  • Videopapers are multimedia documents thatintegrate and synchronise different forms of representation , such as text, video and images, in one single non linear cohesive document.

7. to disseminate research Nemirovsky et al. 2001 Olivero et al. 2004 Use of videopapers to share practice with others Beardsley et al. 2007 Nemirovsky et al. 2005 as a tool for self-reflection and assessment Olivero and Lazarus, 2007, 2009 Lazarus and Olivero 2009Smith and Krumsvik, 2007 8.

  • Our case study
  • The collaborators (Elisabeth Lazarus, Federica Olivero and Maria Daniil)
  • The Project(funded by ESCalate and GSoE, University of Bristol)
  • The Assignment
  • Participants
  • Methodologies
  • Data analysis
  • Findings
  • Conclusions and Future plans
  • Bibliography


  • Future plans?
  • Start small and be sceptical
  • Technical infrastructure (e.g. access to video cameras)
  • Inclusion of other subject areas and other professional groups (e.g. counsellors, Trahar 2008)
  • Where next?
  • All MFL PGCE students will be creating a videopaper as an assignment in Dec/Jan.


  • The work continues
  • Watching video affords the opportunity to develop a different kind of knowledge for teaching knowledge not of what to do next, but rather, knowledge of how to interpret and reflect on classroom practices.(Sherin, 2003, p.17)
  • The intellectual work the videopaper demands arises from the fact that video, text, and slides must be connected in order for the narrative to emerge. This interconnectedness pushes the author to closely examine the relationship between the images and their text, to think carefully about exactly how to generate meaning from their media. The exactness of the medium demands that one makes precise choices in editing and concentrates on discrete themes in the video. (Beardsley et al, 2007)


  • Bibliography
  • Beardsley, L., Cogan-Drew, D. and Olivero, F. (2007) Videopaper: Bridging Research and Practice for pre-service and experience Teachers. In R. Goldman, R.D. Pea, B. Barron & S.J. Derry (Eds )Video Research in the Learning Sciences , Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Daniil, M. (2007)The use of VideoPapers from Modern Foreign Language student teachers as a tool to support reflection on practice . Unpublished Masters Dissertation, University of Bristol.
  • Daniil, M. and Olivero, F. (2008) The use of VideoPapers from Modern Foreign Language student teachers as a tool to support reflection on practice. InProceedings of the 6th Panhellenic conference with international participation Information Communication Technologies in Education , p. 429-436, Limassol, Cyprus.
  • Lazarus, E. and Olivero, F. (2009) Videopapers as a tool for reflection on practice in initial teacher education,Technology, Pedagogy and Education , 18 (3), 255-267.
  • Nemirovsky, R., Lara-Meloy, T., Earnest, D. and Ribeiro, B. (2001) Videopapers: Investigating new multimedia genres to foster the interweaving of research and teaching, in M. v.d.d Heuvel-Panhuizen (ed.)Proceedings fo the 25 thConference of the International group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education , 3,423-430.


  • Bibliography cont.
  • Nemirovsky, R., DiMattia, C.,Ribeiro, B, and Lara-Meloy, T. (2005) Talking about Teaching Episodes,Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education , 8, 363-392.
  • Olivero, F., John, P. and Sutherland, R. (2004) Seeing is believing: using videopapers to transform teachers professional knowledge and practice.Cambridge Journal of Education , 34 (2), 169-176.
  • Olivero, F and Lazarus, E. (2009 in press) Using Videopapers to communicate and represent practice in Postgraduate Education Programmes. In R. Krumsvik, (Ed)Learning in the Network Society and Digitized School . (New York: Nova Science Publishers)
  • Olivero, F. and Lazarus, E. (2007, August) Using videopapers for professional learning and assessment in initial teacher education. Paper presented at the12th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLi), Budapest, Hungary
  • Sherin, M.G. (2007) The Development of Teachers Professional Vision in Video Clubs. In R. Goldman, R.D. Pea, B .Barron & S.J. Derry (Eds )Video Research in the Learning Sciences , Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


  • Bibliography cont.
  • Sherin, M.G. (2003) New perspectives on the role of video in teacher education,Advances in Research on Teaching , 10, 1-27.
  • Smith, K. and Krumsvik, R. (2007, August)Video-papers: an attempt to closing the notorious gap in teacher education.Paper presented at the 12th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Budapest.
  • Tochon, F. V. (2007) From Video Cases to Video Pedagogy: A Framework for Video Feedback and Reflection In Pedagogical Research. In R. Goldman, R.D. Pea, B. Barron & S.J. Derry (Eds )Video Research in the Learning Sciences , Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum .
  • Tochon, F.V. (2001) "Education Research": New Avenues for Digital Video Pedagogy and Feedback in Teacher Education.International Journal of Applied Semiotics, 2, 1-2 , 9-28.
  • Trahar, S. (2008). VideoPaper and assessment.Therapy Today, 19 (2), 41-43.


  • To pilot the use of videopapers as a reflective learning tool for PGCE students;
  • To investigate advantages/ disadvantages over more conventional use of videos, observation tasks and assignments.


  • 18 volunteer MFL graduates on one-year PGCE course
  • (1 dropped out after 2 nd workshop)
  • Varied background in terms of qualifications (BA, MA, PhD); experience of teaching;experience of use of technology; native and non-native speakers of the languages they were teaching (German, French & Spanish)


  • To create a videopaper instead of a written essay for one of their units which required them to reflect on issues relating to their practice:
  • Specifically, the assignment requested students to:
  • Select a focus for the videopaper
  • Choose one lesson to be video-recorded
  • Collect materials from the classroom and from their teaching
  • Review and edit the video from 50 min to approx. 5 min.
  • Write text/commentary to the clips, including the wider literature
  • publish the final videopaper


  • Workshops
  • Observations of students reading videopapers in pairs (video recordings, transcriptions and notes)
  • Focus group interviews on reading and writing videopapers(video recordings and transcriptions)
  • Observations of students reading each others videopapers (video recordings and transcriptions)
  • Final individual and group interviews about the whole process (video recordings and transcriptions)
  • Collection of the produced videopapers
  • Comparisons of videopapers vs. conventional essays
  • Building case studies around each volunteer


  • The relationship between creating a videopaper and writing an essay
  • Students perception of videopapers as a tool to support self reflection
  • The role of experience (teaching, ICT, research)
  • Location of assignment in trainees stage of development
  • The process of assessing a videopaper, as compared to traditional essays


  • DATA ANALYSIS(reported elsewhere)
  • The process of creating a videopaper (selection of clips, collection of other artifacts, technical difficulties, requirement for support)
  • The structure and content of the videopapers
  • The relationship between video and text
  • Linearity and non-linearity
  • The process of reading videopapers(audience, reading online)
  • Perceptions of readers and writers
  • (Olivero and Lazarus, 2009)


  • FINDINGS The relationship between creating a videopaper and writing an essay: REALISM
  • You could actually see what you were talking about whereas if you were writing an essay, its quite hard, you know, you have to try and visualise the lessonsand it was great to take a break from typing and just have a look at the clip and you would watch it and think about this is what Im gonna say. Brid
  • In a videopaper you have much more freedom which can be very positive or negative if the reader feels like, um, not getting enough out of it because he doesnt think on his own. Christine
  • If you compare it to a normal essay it gives you a realistic dimension because it is not abstract any more; youre not talking about behaviour management, big theories, here you have the reality, practice, its not just writing but connecting theories to the practice and the other way. Liz
  • it did bring the classroom much more alive it was there in front of you it was not just reading an essay much more involving. (Helen)


  • Its like writing the first essay. Its a completely new way of doing things. (Catrin)
  • Keith: you (the reader/assessor) are actually there in the classroom and see what is happening and you can make your own evaluation there honestly, whether (the teaching and learning) is successful or whether it isnt. While obviously with the traditional paper (the writer) would steer the reader in the direction you want.
  • Olivia: Yea you can manipulate
  • Keith: in what direction you want them to go
  • for me English is not my first language, (the videopaper) helps me put my message across in an easier way, so I can show my tutor what I mean, without ten lines you know the video it helped, helped me explaining my points (Olivia)


  • FINDINGS Promoting reflection
  • using the text to analyse whats going on, rather than describing exactly what youre going to see in the video anyway. Otherwise its a bit pointless having it there. (Liz
  • (the text is) an other dimension of (the video clip) in a sense. (Christine)
  • That again you are seeing your-self, almost naked if you like, in front of...you know you are in the classroom and...and your persona is exposed to what's going on and...and you certainly have to actually analyse your self, for other than somebody else, and you have at your own strengths and own weaknesses and be quite critical with yourself and decide this was a good thing, this wasn't a good thing. I think that can be very difficult sometimes. (Keith)


  • FINDINGS Language and genre
  • I dont see why you should make it less academic because its a videopaper. When you read academic like people take it seriouslyI do think that there are a lot of people who willor would take it less seriously. And I think it takes away some of what youve put in if youre dumbing down all the language just because it is a videopaper. (Catherine)
  • Not the kind of language but the amount of language. (Liz)
  • well it seems like people make language less accessible when theyre writing academicallyI think itsmore accessible because then you dont have to read thousands for words you know its visual and auditory and appeals to more senses My boyfriend could read my videopaper, he would probably enjoy it. But I would never be able to make him read my essay. (Patricia)


  • FINDINGS Iterative process potentiality for aProfessional Development Portfolio
  • I think that if you maybe do two, three or four of them and then you would compare them you could see maybe if youve improved or if things changed, if maybe because youre in a different environment, in a different school, at a different time with a different class maybe you see oh my God I managed so well with this group and if you look back at one example of a lesson we did and then you see that you actually lost some of the strategies and you found like; oh Im not doing this anymore or maybe you say I left this behind because now Ive seen thats its not that useful or anything. So you would maybe go back and see how you changed so. Christine


  • FINDINGS Some drawbacks
  • Time consuming
  • Best suited for individuals or pair work not useful for displaying to a group
  • Less experienced ICT users focused on mastering technical aspects
  • Size of video & slide section could not be enlarged
  • Quality of sound recordings variable
  • Transcriptions and subtitles could have been helpful


  • FINDINGSThe process of creating a videopaper
  • Some issues
  • Workshops, mutual and individual support seen as essential by all participants
  • Reading of videopapers created by peers very important starting point
  • VideoPaper Builder 3 - free software, easy to install some of the students installed it at home as well; clips edited with iMovie or windows movie maker; need Quicktime and Firefox.
  • VpB3 is much easier to use 2 nd/3rdgroup experienced fewer problems and time was used more effectively
  • Who makes the video recording? Experience? (camera position, use of locking devices etc) - influenced the final quality
  • In one case school made analogue recording of student and contingency measures were needed


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