Relocating Online a Technology-Enhanced Microteaching Practice in Teacher Education: Challenges and Implications

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34190/ejel.20.3.2180

Keywords:

teacher education, technology-enhanced microteaching, online practices, covid-19

Abstract

The rich repertoire of online practices adopted by educators during the Covid-19 pandemic opened up new perspectives for educational research to consider e-learning post-pandemic. Focusing on teacher education, it is worth considering the practices adopted to inform the development of future curricula that cultivate teaching competencies for e-learning. This paper examines microteaching, a well-established practice realised in teacher education as a learning-to-teach experience. As was the case with other teacher education practices, the forced online transition heavily compromised the vividness of microteaching -a technique inherently connected to face-to-face interaction-. On the other hand, this online relocation can be an opportunity to capitalise on online microteaching as a fulfilling e-learning experience in teacher education. The paper has two parts. In the first part, we conceptualise the potential of microteaching while applying Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL). The second part reports our experience relocating online a mature technology-enhanced microteaching practice (successfully implemented in face-to-face settings for seven years) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our research design utilises two implementations of microteaching practice. One was conducted in a typical face-to-face context pre-pandemic, and another was conducted in an online context during a lockdown imposed by the pandemic. On a first level, collecting qualitative data from both contexts allowed us to observe common TEL-related challenges. On a second level, we focused on identifying challenges distinct at the online context to infer and highlight the implications of the online relocation. These implications relate to (i) the organisational changes, as experienced from the instructor’s perspective, (ii) the technologies adopted for applying TEL, and (iii) the challenges that pre-service teachers (PSTs) face in the online environment. Our findings extend the previous research scope on face-to-face microteaching practice. New challenges of relocating technology-enhanced microteaching online include technical difficulties in handling technologies and reduced participation in whole-class discussions. However, challenges that remain relatively unaffected concerning the typical face-to-face practice are (i) the PSTs immersion in the roleplaying character of microteaching, (ii) the misconceptions on the principles and methods of teaching techniques roleplayed, (iii) the adoption of digital tools for applying TEL, (iv) the selection of suitable digital tools, and (v) the burden of time limitation. In conclusion, we argue that these insights reveal an unexplored potential for technology-enhanced microteaching in an online context. We discuss how the implications of shifting microteaching practise online may model future microteaching implementations in teacher education post-pandemic. We support that online microteaching, apart from providing an alternative method when circumstances impose it, should be integrated within the typical teacher education curriculum to cultivate teaching competencies for e-learning.

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Published

30 Mar 2022

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