Overcoming the obstacles to implementing video feedback for teachers

The use of video is an excellent way to support teacher coaching and improvement. In John Hattie’s meta analysis of factors influencing effective teaching, micro teaching (video recording lessons) was in the top 10 strategies used by teachers that have the biggest impact on student learning. Yet despite this evidence plus better and more affordable technology, their are still many schools and teachers who are reluctant to engage with this approach to improve teaching and learning.

To get an initiative like micro teaching off the ground, it should not take that much effort or convincing of teachers but unfortunately it does. Teachers will often cite numerous reasons for why they do not want to video their classes. It is, therefore, important that school leaders provide a case for doing so that is convincing and outweighs the arguments for not using video as an important piece of feedback to improvement instruction.

Here are some of the arguments that I have heard from teachers for why they are not keen to use video in their classes and my responses to them:

Video in the classroom.001

It is always useful to be prepared to counter any arguments that may oppose a new initiative. By thinking about them beforehand, school leaders can show a compelling air of confidence in knowing most pitfalls associated with the forthcoming change whilst also ensuring that the reasons for the change outweigh those reasons that could hold it back.

Perhaps even start with video recording yourself and working through the film with your team. Most successes come through those who lead by example, so get recording and discussing.

Originally posted on Ed Leader. Connect with me @richard_bruford


  1. I think that the use of video needs to be at the discretion of educators rather than leaders. Given our country’s attitude toward physical appearance and the fact that many want to reduce teaching to analysis of short observations rather than overall work, the use of video has the potential to be problematic and even dehumanizing. On the other hand, if educators are working carefully with a concept or teaching focus and want to employ video to help reach a collective or individual goal then I think it can be used effectively. For example to reach National Board of Professional Teaching Certification, teachers have to submit a video, but those educators can choose to videotape teaching work that they are interested in sharing rather than having the medium imposed.

    June 28, 2015
    • Hi Maureen

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

      I do not think leaders can impose video but certainly there needs to be more dialogue around the fears. The issues around body image are real and we do have to look at this sensitively. Audio recordings can also work wonders as part of observation.

      Video works best, like with any observation, when there is a very specific and small focus such as looking a questioning techniques, how verbal feedback is given etc.

      What does concern me, however, is that we have educators amongst us that want students to do things that they would never consider themselves. I do not feel education should have double-standards. There are so many classes where teachers have students be videoed to support learning. The impact of this can be amazing. As educators, we should be open minded to exploring the possibilities with this medium.

      July 2, 2015
      • You make a good point, Richard. Young children are typically so open to using video to share their learning, yet educators like me are reluctant mostly due to issues related to the body image judgement and prejudice that exists in our culture. I’m going to think more about this and may even try it out in a more open forum rather than just private situations like the NBPTS certification process. Take care.

        July 10, 2015

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