James Hall

Iwate University

I am a teacher educator at Iwate University. I am interested in using ePortfolios and Lesson Study Applications as a means to help students build their own theories of English teaching instruction based on experience and theory.


Promoting teacher-trainee reflection and development through feedback on a lesson study application

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This paper introduces a Lesson Study Application (LS APP) that has been used for Iwate University teaching practicums in Japan and also Thailand. The purpose of the LS APP is to facilitate student-teacher reflection by giving them a means to receive feedback from those who observe their classes. The Content Management System, WordPress and various plugins were used to develop the application. Before each lesson, the teacher-trainee makes a “Lesson Research Page” on WordPress which consists of their lesson plan and a list of issues they want observers to comment on. The plugin WPDiscuz was used for commenting on lessons. Users write their comments in real time. They can provide keywords for their comments, tag other users, “like” other comments, and submit pictorial or video data to support their observations, which is something not possible through paper-and-pencil observation. The researcher asked teacher-trainees to choose feedback they found useful and explain their choices. He also conducted a questionnaire about using the LS APP. It was found that the feedback student-teachers received helped them improve their instruction and develop teaching concepts that they could use in the future. However, student-teachers have not reflected on how to bridge the gap between the teaching theories studied in the university classroom and their actual practice. Bridging the “Theory-practice Divide” was one of the intended uses of the LS APP. The presenter will discuss how future variations of the commenting form as well as training of student-teachers to use the LS APP might improve this area.