Microteaching (MT) started in 1960s at the Stanford University as a tool for training of university student educators. Allen and Ryan (1969) who actually gave this idea had conceptualized MT as a real teaching, where the complexities of normal classroom in terms of course size, opportunity of content and time are reduced. Further, it focuses on specific teaching jobs, allowing increased control of practice and greatly expanding the feedback dimensions of teaching. In essence, it meant enjoying MT as a scaled down version of a real teaching scenario with less time, less content, less skills being used and less audience. The name of the technique seems to have originated from this concept of ‘less’.
MT provides an chance to the teachers to give a small test of their teaching, get feedback from peers and re-practice the abilities as required. The concentrate is on improvement of person or a cluster of skills, that could be covered within a short span of 5-7 minutes. Allen and Ryan (1969) detailed 14 teaching skills, each of which could be individually or with other skills protected within enough time available. Conceptually, it was a acoustics model, using the energy of reviews to shape tendencies. Implied in this is to view tutor training with a behavioristic way i. e. striving to build up similar group of responses in every instructors under similar conditions.
The originators of MT looked at it as a chance for safe practice of a cluster of teaching skills to make lessons more interesting, reinforce learning and also open up and close lectures effectively. Immediate targeted opinions and encouragement with opportunity to practice the advised changes were considered essential components of MT standard protocol.
A perusal as of this philosophy brings about certain important items. The lessons are simple; are conducted in a safe and non-threatening environment; coaching is busted into smaller skills and tackled individually; encouragement is provided to bolster the good items and immediate and concentrated responses is provided. The main of these- especially considering that we are coping with grown up adults with a assorted number of years of educating experience- seems to be the provision of an safe and non-threatening environment.
While the concept spread out to a number of pre-service tutor training institutions, there have been certain changes in the strategy along the way. MT became a session where coaching was to be ‘critiqued’ and the trainee tutor needed to replicate the consultations till perfection! Together, large and much larger checklists were developed to fully capture almost every aspect of teaching behavior, taking away the very basic tenet of ‘micro’. A Google search of ‘microteaching checklists’ creates a number of documents, some of them with over 60-70 details to be viewed within a span of 5-7 minutes. Even the smaller checklists so often found in basic medical education workshops list the entire rage of teaching behaviors from lesson planning to closure. Such checklists may be alright for a feedback on teaching but aren’t suited to MT as all the posted behaviors can’t be observed within the time available. For a few reasons, MT was also viewed as placing the ‘instructor under a microscope so that all faults in his/her teaching can be brought out’ (Ananthakrishnan, 1993). Contrasted to the protected climate and encouragement originally conceptualized by Allen et al (1969), MT came to be seen as an exercise in mistake finding.
Using checklists during MT classes has its problems. As well as the inappropriate size and content discussed above, it is presumed that there surely is ‘the way’ to teach, that can be quantified and that teachers can and really should acquire this way. This situation is similar to the conflict that we have about use of atomized checklists associated with an OSCE and global scores of a long circumstance. While checklists may be appropriate during initial phases of training, they often fail to catch the full total, which is more than aggregation of specific skills (Norman et al, 1991).
Given the issue of meaningfully watching a large variety of trainees on a huge checklist within a short period of your time, use of technology was made. The strategy was modified to include use of video recording tracking of lectures so the trainees and instructors could later go through the tapes in a more meaningful way. The usage of video tutorial recordings became a whole lot a part of the procedure that in some later explanations, this used to be included. Barnett(1991) for example, described MT as ‘. . . approach to teacher trained in which simulated teaching periods (often videotaped) are being used to build up and analyze trainees’ specific coaching skills and habits’. (Emphasis added) Developed countries may have been able to utilize technology as yet another input but also for most others, it only seems to have alienated the teachers further.
While many pre-service training programs continued to utilize it, its use for in-service training does not appear to be very stimulating. A lot of the times, this is a session at basic education workshop but its use as a good educator improvement tool remains highly underutilized. While we do not have any data to this result, it is unlikely that a large number of members from these workshops ever before use it back.
An interesting convert to this report emerged, when Allen and Wang (1996) themselves thought the dissatisfaction with the methodology, writing ‘. . its difficulty overwhelmed its effectiveness as an exercise device and its use declined over time’. This resulted in a revamp of the system of microteaching to stress the essential tenets viz. providing a safe environment in which reputation and feedback help the professors to boost their teaching skills. One of the driving causes behind this change was to make MT less dependent on technology, especially for use in tool poor settings. This technique was extensively used in Namibia and China. It is pertinent to say that the new model was specifically directed towards in-service training – something with which we have been battling. The major change in the new model, which incidentally has been called 21st hundred years microteaching (we will call it MT2), was the further scaling down of the coaching environment.
Large number of teachers to learn and less availability of technology appeared to prompt these improvements. However, as we shall see later, there was also an implicit switch from behavioristic to cognitivistic idea by firmly taking away the pre-decided response from instructors and permitting them to think about their teaching habits. This is brand with accepted types of instructors’ professional development (Clarke and Hollingsworth, 2002). This methodology has been extensively tested and has become a part of China’s nationwide technique for in-service teacher training. Several other countries are also using this approach.
Broadly, the MT2 consists of a small band of 4-5 teachers, revolving through the jobs of the ‘tutor’ and ‘students’. Elaborate scoring protocols have been done away with and replaced by a simple 2+2 evaluation process. In effect, this means that every ‘college student’ will provide 2 compliments and 2 recommendations to the presenter. At the end of the procedure, each presenter will thus have 8 compliments and 8 recommendations, presuming that we now have 5 associates in the group. Contrasted to the earlier version of MT, in which a supervisor was considered essential, MT2 relies on the power of peer reviews, making the surroundings even less threatening. Presenters also find it convenient to organize the re-teach consultations depending on their time and convenience.
The advantages of such an approach exceed simple improvements in teaching skills. In the first place, it allows the educators to think about the reviews (Anson et al, 2010). Reflective coaching has been found to be an important suggestions in making teaching better. Furthermore, contribution in such trainings seems to increase the self-efficacy values of professors (Mergler, 2010), which are believed a crucial input in determining the application of newly attained skills.
The process of reflection is activated by responses- in this context, the grade of feedback becomes a key point. A good method to use is the Pendleton’s platform (Pendleton et al, 1984). Essentially, this consists of requesting the presenter first about what he/she does well. The observers then discuss what gone well, adding their commentary. The presenter is then asked what travelled less well and what different he/she would do next time. Finally, the observers discuss what travelled less well and provide ideas for improvement. As can be seen, this process is strength oriented, focusing on what is done well, re-enforcing it and offering suggestions for improvement. The probability of using the ideas is high compared to the critique focused deficit based mostly model. Some individuals however, believe that presenters pay less attention to positive things as wait more for the negative details to come. In addition, this process categorizes feedback as negative and positive.
To overcome a few of the problems with providing reviews as given above, some changes have been tried out (Millard, 2000). The presenter is first invited to say how he/she found the knowledge and whether s/he thinks that learning outcomes were achieved. The observers then take converts to state what they learnt and exactly how they believed. They should use ‘I’ assertions and inform only their observations alternatively than inferences (I think you do. . ) or advice (I think you should. . ). Finally the presenter has the chance to include any more responses but without justifying or being protective. S/he can also request advice if required. This enables learning from what actually occurred alternatively than from hypothetical situations or from kept in mind experience.
Beyond these simple user friendly steps, lots of add-ons are available with regards to the option of technology, resources, workers and institutional support. Video tutorial taking and then viewing the tapes jointly seems to improve the final result of the consultations (Brent et al, 1996). Using ‘standardized students’ (on the lines of standardized patients) has been another adjustment, especially for increasing teaching of medical skills (Gelula and Yudkowsky, 2003). Standardized students may also be used for formal analysis of teaching skills using purpose structured teaching evaluation (OSTE, on the lines of OSCE) (Morrison et al, 2002). However, even without such interventions, MT2 appears to provide good opportunity to teachers and increases its acceptability.
It is seen that MT2 has the probable of better acceptability, ease of use and a much safer environment for professors to boost their teaching skills. It does not use terms like ‘criticism’ or ‘placing the professor under microscope’. Somewhat, it uses the energy of positive re-enforcement to market reflections, develop personal- efficacy beliefs of teachers and invite those to make changes in their coaching conceptions, each which is considered imperative to professional development of professors.
Not that the sooner model was bad or incorrect- but considering that in most of basic medical education workshops, we impress upon the individuals to utilize adult learning key points in their coaching- it is desirable that people also treat the members as adult learners. Rather than demanding a pre-decided design of responses from teachers, it might be worthwhile to supply them with feedback and allow them to think about this. Any change caused this way is likely to be more resilient and convincing.
Strictly speaking, MT may well not be called a ‘technology’ but its adoption can very well be described by technology adoption model (Davis, 1989). The likelihood of adoption of an innovation depends upon two crucial factors viz. perceived usefulness (which includes been built through the workshop sessions) and identified ease of use (which pertains to the simple having a treatment back home). If individuals do not find the innovation simple to use ( e. g. they have to have the Dean/ MEU coordinator, get photocopies of long documents, make a video tutorial saving etc. ), then it is unlikely that it’ll be apply.
MT can be in comparison to a predicament where before going for a party in a fresh costume, you ask your friend ‘how am I looking’ and s/he lets you know that ‘the suit is ideal but the tie is looking a bit odd why not change it with another color’. With this type of interaction, it’s likely you’ll use this approach in future as well. However, if your good friend removes a checklist and begins criticizing your poor dress sense, then it is improbable that you will ever before ask it again.