Supporting a third of Denmark’s student teachers with video PD


VIA University College, Denmark

In a unique research project, a third of Denmark’s student teachers were given access to remote support from tutors at VIA University College using IRIS Connect.

Watch this short video for a quick overview or read the full case study below.


The project

One third of all teachers in Denmark graduate through VIA’s bachelor degree programme for teacher education. The ‘Experts in Teaching’ project looked at supporting student teachers over 2 years to develop their practice through “micro teaching” and research.

What is Micro-teaching? Micro-teaching is a technique whereby the teacher reviews a recording of a teaching session, in order to get constructive feedback from peers about what has worked and what improvements can be made to their practice.

The research included students:

  • Documenting their own practice
  • Observing their own practice
  • Getting peers and teachers to observe their practice
  • Sharing their new insights with peers and teachers and in turn learning from their peers’ and teachers’ insights (knowledge sharing)
  • Establishing communities of practice
  • Developing through micro-teaching and feedback

“IRIS Connect is such a powerful tool. We found that once students started recording themselves they actually got into the habit of doing it and more importantly, they wanted to do it. They were more than happy to share videos with us, using the editing tool to select key moments which gave us more time to look at them.”


Finding areas for development

The students started by using video to reflect on their teaching and identify an area for improvement. They would then research different strategies and techniques to try before recording themselves again and repeating the process.

“If we imposed a focus then it wouldn’t be their research. We needed to let their practice determine what they would concentrate on trying to improve,” explains Project Leader Annemette Heine Wullum.

“We said to the students from the very start that this project was not about best practice but about making their practice better. Because, what is best practice?”

analysis tools (2)


The power of research and lesson analysis

One of the primary areas where the students used IRIS Connect was on their six week placements, where they could video themselves as many times as they liked and use the tools within the IRIS Connect platform to analyze what they saw and share.

“On most placements, students worked together in groups sharing and discussing the videos among themselves to get feedback,” says Annemette.

“IRIS Connect is such a powerful tool. We found that once students started recording themselves they actually got into the habit of doing it and more importantly, they wanted to do it. They were more than happy to share videos with us, using the editing tool to select key moments which gave us more time to look at them.

She continues; “The video recordings and data processing tools have opened the  students’ eyes to aspects of their teaching that they did not notice before. That’s why the process of analyzing the video afterwards is so important. The tools in IRIS Connect helped them to get deep analysis of what they actually did and then see how they could improve on the basis of their research.”

Frits Hedegaard Eriksen, a lecturer involved in the project, agrees: “It’s not the videoing of themselves that makes them think deeper, it’s the analysis of the videos that does and I think that has been a great success. Our student teachers use the tools in IRIS Connect very sophisticatedly so they are dealing with data instead of stories to discuss and improve their teaching.”


“The video recordings and data processing tools have opened the  students’ eyes to aspects of their teaching that they did not notice before. That’s why the process of analyzing the video afterwards is so important. The tools in IRIS Connect helped them to get deep analysis of what they actually did and then see how they could improve on the basis of their research.”


Investigating triangulated teacher PD

With the project at an end, Frits and Annemette are now encouraging more students to make use of IRIS Connect.

“We’re going to see if we can use the recordings from placements next year in what we call a three party conversation with the teacher trainer, student teacher and the placement teacher,” explains Annemette.

“It’s a triangle learning situation which we have had for many years but very rarely have we used video as part of those conversations so we’re going to explore how that could work. And the Group functionality in IRIS Connect is really good for this because it means we can share videos with people outside our own community.”

Student teachers


Supporting education programmes across the board

Due to the success of the initial project, VIA University College have decided to roll out IRIS Connect’s video-based training and professional development technology across all 8 of their campuses, extending its use to support a wider range of their education programmes.

With focus on applied sciences and participating in various research and development projects, they see IRIS Connect as a powerful tool supporting them in their mission to be a leading educational institution in Denmark and internationally.

Get started – it’s FREE!

✓  Try IRIS Connect Film Club
✓  Record, reflect on & analyze your practice
✓  Use coaching & collaboration tools



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