Video evaluations weaken class quality

On Feb. 20, The Wall Street Journal reported that New Jersey passed a regulation that would require student-teachers to submit video recordings of their lessons to Pearson.

The video recording is part of the requirements for passing the edTPA, a test created by Pearson that student-teachers will be required to take to receive certification. Those who do not pass the test may be unable to return to teach in the fall.

The Wall Street Journal points out that such a requirement would violate students’ privacy, but there is another issue that comes up that is also worth highlighting.

Many college students are familiar with the reality of professor evaluations. Professors are notified that they will be evaluated a week in advance and they proceed to pass the information to their classes. Many professors will ask students to show up to class early and raise their hands as often as possible. In more extreme cases, some will set up group exercises that are not part of the usual class routine.

As it happens with these professor evaluations, there is a high chance that student-teachers will also take advantage of the prior knowledge of the video sessions and will make their lessons better than usual. Thus, such method of evaluation may create a falsified classroom experience.