Preparing Teachers: Our Purpose, Practice, and Platform

Nicole Tucker-Smith

This case example is a brief look into Lessoncast’s collaboration with Bowie State University's College of Education. Context is provided through a candid interview with Dr. Lynne Long. As Director of Field Experiences at Bowie State University’s College of Education (COE), Dr. Long describes the challenges that led to their Department of Teacher Learning and Professional Development’s (TLPD’s) introduction to Lessoncast, a video-based teacher development technology that helps educator preparation programs strengthen clinical learning experiences and P12 partnerships.

The Challenge 

Q. How would you articulate the challenge you were looking to address when you first started working with Lessoncast?

A. We were asking ourselves, "How do we collaborate to ensure viable preparation for our novice teachers to be learner-ready for their future classrooms?” Our strategic focus became increasing the level of rigor in our coursework to match P12 school districts’ expectations for teacher effectiveness.

Q.  How were you looking for Lessoncast to help you with that  strategic focus? 

 A. We were looking to build rigor and phase students into key aspects of performance assessment throughout their own experiences in our program. We wanted a video platform coupled with a teacher performance assessment system that we could manage and develop for our students based on what they need to be classroom-prepared.

We also looked at evaluation systems in local school districts and how our students would be able to match up with those expectations. We looked at the rigor of models like National Board Certification. Lessoncast was the platform most closely aligned with the expectations of what our teacher candidates would be required to do when teaching.

Goals and Measures 

 Q. What ideas did you have about the type of outcomes you’d look for to indicate success?

 A. Our goal was to have students be able to articulate what they did when they were teaching in the classroom and why they did it. We wanted them to first assess and then articulate their instructional decisions and demonstrate an ability to teach to an array of diverse children.

Q. Why did you choose to work with Lessoncast?

 A. We saw the rigor in your platform. With Lessoncast, students have to articulate their instructional planning and decision making. We also place great value on Lessoncast’s status as a minority-owned company. We recognize that this partnership and collaboration adds meaning as a potential model specifically encouraging and supporting the diverse students that we attract to Bowie State.


Steps to Implementation

Faculty and supervisors from the Department of Teacher Learning and Professional Development met with Lessoncast’s founder, Nicole Tucker-Smith. Modeled after edTPA, National Board Certification, and other teacher performance assessment frameworks, Lessoncast incorporates video analysis into their course assignments for the Phase I and Phase II student interns. Since BSU’s internship model already included a portfolio aspect, this was a natural place to begin. The Lessoncast video artifacts created by the student interns would become a multimedia form of evidence in their portfolio.

Initial steps in the implementation process also included communication and collaboration with mentor teachers from the P12 professional development schools. The platform provided a collaboratively developed, technology-enhanced “third space,” supporting CAEP Standard 2.3.

Criteria: Meeting the CAEP Standard 2.3  

The provider works with partners to design clinical experiences of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence, and duration to ensure that candidates demonstrate their developing effectiveness and positive impact on all students’ learning and development. Clinical experiences, including technology-enhanced learning opportunities, are structured to have multiple performance-based assessments at key points within the program to demonstrate candidates’ development of the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, as delineated in Standard 1. Each are associated with a positive impact on the learning and development of all P-12 students.

The faculty, supervisors, and mentor teachers agreed on a rubric that defined teaching performance indicators and criteria for evidence of mastery. Faculty also explained to students the purpose of incorporating video analysis into the internship assignments.

The student interns planned focus lessons with their mentor teachers, implemented the lessons, recorded video segments, and used the Lessoncast web application to guide their video analysis and reflection on their impact on student learning. The Lessoncast video format included: the video clip; articulation of instructional decision making and analysis of impact on learning; attached lesson plans, materials, and student work samples; and alignment to standards.



Lessoncast assessment : The student interns submitted their video artifacts to their supervisors. Faculty scored the students’ work according to the shared rubric and met as a group to compare scores for inter-rater reliability. In addition, faculty gathered student feedback to continuously inform and refine the process. The Department quickly realized the benefit to embedding video analysis and performance assessment assignments throughout the teaching candidates' courses.


Ensuing Results

Q. How has using Lessoncast helped you, faculty, students, and P12 partnerships? What have been specific benefits?

 A. Lessoncast prompts faculty to further collaborate and look at signature assessments to meet the rigor of what pre-service teachers need to know and deliver and to find the holes in our coursework. 

Candidates can now better articulate their theory and why they chose the instructional strategies in their lesson plans. They engage their supervisors and mentors more in their planning, paying close attention to the different populations of students they may have.

Our students are more sought after nationwide, and they have options for where they want to go based on what they’ve learned about themselves and the profession. This makes them more likely to continue investing in teaching careers, because they can anticipate classroom expectations and understand that they have choices. Collectively as faculty, we need to continue to know our students and be able to prepare them for those activities necessary for their sustained successes, which translates directly into success potential for every student that enters their future instructional care. That’s why we’re in it.”



Tags :  Educator Preparation, Teacher Preparation, Case Study, Testimonial

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Nicole Tucker-Smith