Aural feedback in microteaching : an investigation into the effects of audio feedback on a practical training component of teacher education : a thesis submitted as part fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in Education at Massey University
The investigation presented here explores the use of audio feedback: in the review stage of a Microteaching exercise.
The investigation involving Year Two Music Teacher Traineest compared self-evaluation ratings made in response to three feedback conditions; memory; audio and video; and attempted to explain any difference in ratings by changes in the source of feedback. The three self-ratings were compared to an expert rating of each microlesson to investigate any other effects feedback had on rating. The design of the study also allowed for a comparison to be made between two different teaching conditions, one teaching pupils in a classroom setting, and the other teaching peers in a College setting.
Although questionnaire responses indicated a preference for video feedbackt there was actually little change between audio and video ratings. Neither of these ratings were as accurate as the initial memory rating when all three were compared to the expert rating. The video feedback appeared to generate a positive image which resulted in trainees over-rating themselves. Most importantly, there was no significant difference between audio and video ratings.
With regard to differences between teaching condition, the peer-teaching setting appeared to encourage an unrealistic view, with trainees in this group over-rating themselves more than those teaching pupils at school. Questionnaire responses indicated that the group teaching in the school setting tended to regard the Microlesson, although limiting, to be a valuable experience. This group's initial rating was lower than the peer-teaching group, but they were more responsive to changes in feedback.
Despite severe limitations to the generality of the study due to design shortcomings, the findings provide enough material for a general discussion on the differences in mode of feedback. Several issues were raised, including the idea that an audio stimulus generates a higher level
response than a visual stimulus. The discussion includes reference to an informal study which was undertaken to explore this notion. (That it is not directly supported by the findings is probably due to design issues which failed to account for the superior status of video in the eyes of inexperienced self-raters, and by the use of a rating scale which was not sensitive to issues of aural and visual perception.)
The discussion takes place within the context of Teacher Education preparing for a profession which is continually making demands on a teacher's adaptability to change and her ability to reflect an issues regarding the pace and direction of those changes. The feedback stage of a Microteaching cycle is seen as a place where such reflective activity can be encouraged, especially by the use of a varietyof modes of feedback, including the activity of listening without visual cues or in other words, audio feedback.