Online-based peer feedback in teaching practicum. Facets of professional competence of German L1 teacher students

Submitted by: Anna Seeber
Abstract: Teacher education programs at German universities include field experiences in schools. Their goal is to provide an opportunity to observe and practice teaching. A crucial question of teacher education research is how the field experiences can be structured and guided so that the teacher students’ learning outcome is raised (e.g. increasing action ability and pedagogical content knowledge). The intervention project OVID-PRAX (Online-based video feedback in teaching practicum) focusses on this issue. It investigates characteristics and effects of feedback teacher students’ give to each other on the basis of videotaped lessons. The lessons were conducted during a six-month teaching practicum which is preceded by at least four semesters of university studies. The paper presents results on the question which aspects of teaching are addressed in the peer feedbacks and which quality the feedbacks have.

The formulation of feedback is regarded as one facet of professional competence that is relevant for teacher students’ future work with pupils (Hattie & Timperley 2007). Although this competence is considered to be essential for teaching, there is little research in teacher education (Lawson et al. 2015). Previous research suggests that the opportunity to exchange perspectives on teaching with fellow students supports the reflection of one’s own knowledge and action abilities (Lu 2010).

In one of the OVID-PRAX intervention groups, teacher students of German as L1 (N=38) videotaped one self-planned and self-conducted lesson and shared it with peers and educators via a digital learning environment. Using the learning platform, the teacher students gave written feedback on their lessons to each other. These written peer feedbacks are the data basis of the presentation. They are analyzed with qualitative methods. The underlying idea is to investigate to what extent students activate pedagogical content knowledge and use it for their argumentation. First results of the study are consistent with prior research on teacher feedbacks revealing that teachers mostly focus on visible structures and hardly on deep structures (e.g. mental activities) of learning (Sturm 2016). In-depth results and practical implications will be discussed in the presentation.

Keywords: peer feedback; German L1 teacher students; teaching practicum; professional competence, qualitative data analysis

Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research 77(1), 81–112.

Lawson, T., Çakmak, M., Gündüz, M. & Busher, H. (2015). Research on teaching practicum – a systematic review. European Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3), 392–407.

Lu, H.-L. (2010). Research on peer coaching in preservice teacher education – A review of literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 748–753.

Sturm, A. (2016). Beurteilen und Kommentieren von Texten als fachdidaktisches Wissen. Leseräume, 3(3), 115-132.