Tiered Video Coaching (TVC) to motivate and sustain learning for students and instructor

Concurrent Session 6

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This presentation showcases a “tiered-coaching” approach between instructor, instructional designer and students in an online course. Structured input was designed and deployed in both tiers, through weekly video feedback, using free online and cloud technology tools, resulting in increased motivation, active learning and self-engagement.


Shuling Yang is a doctoral student at University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She fell in love with blended instructional design when she taught undergraduate courses. Her personal experience in teaching an online course motivated her to dive deeper in the field. Her own research focus is young children's literacy education, in particular how the apps and other online resources influence the way of reading.



Extended Abstract

Sustaining student learning is especially challenging in online courses. Instructor-student interaction in online courses is limited compared to that of regular face-to-face instruction. In order to motivate sustained engagement and active learning in online courses, instructors must provide structured input that go beyond the traditional written word. This presentation showcases a “(double) tiered-coaching” approach using readily available free online and cloud technology tools, -- (1) an experimental Just-In-Time (JIT) professional development effort -- between an instructor (first author / myself) and an instructional designer (second author), to self-engage and actively-provide structured input, for-- (2) a formative video feedback approach -- weekly guidance and motivation to an online undergraduate class.

We began collaborating in Spring 2016, during my inaugural experience teaching online. We focused on how to maintain student active learning in an undergraduate course in teacher education, using instructor-led video feedback. By incorporating visual cues -- facial expressions, hand gestures, and actual student work -- I aimed to establish a social and teaching presence, where I would be perceived as a “real person” who was “there in the class” (Kehrwald, 2008) to facilitate students’ active learning (Borup, West, & Graham, 2012). These videos were then “published” in the class Google Community, a customized “safe” members-only online classroom space. This community of inquiry - CoI (Garrison et al.,2000) provided a social framework for delivering constructive and meaningful feedback in a motivational environment, conducive for students’ active learning (Holmes & Gardner, 2006).

After posting feedback to my students, I then received feedback from the instructional designer, using the same video broadcast tools (Google Hangouts) that I used with my students. She confirmed the good points in my videos, pointed out problems and offered suggestions for subsequent videos. With her guidance, I experimented with different Cloud tools (Google Docs and Google Slides) to demonstrate exemplar work, from actual students and from me. We discussed how regularly paced ongoing video feedback establishes my social and teaching presence, giving students the “sense” of a “real” classroom. We discovered how tone and expressions increased effectiveness of my feedback. When one of my videos overshot 15 minutes, we explored how shorter videos could be more engaging (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014). We also trained to smoothen switching between screens and to incorporate my own talking head. Her coaching greatly enhanced my self-confidence in teaching, and as a result, my ability to coach my students, in turn, improved their presentations.

In summary, video input effectively supplements textbook input (Thompson & Lee, 2012) and cultivates student engagement (Guo et al., 2014). In addition, we believe that tiered video coaching further benefits both the instructor and students, by nurturing rapport between instructor and other students (Borup et al., 2012), as well as between instructional designer and instructor, especially when professional development time is scarce. As a result, motivation and active learning increases for all stakeholders, through modeling (Bandura, 1977) and scaffolding (Vygotsky, 1978).