Enhancing Teaching Effectiveness Through an AI Coaching System

A few years ago, when Ashley Yazarlou was teaching middle school, a coach asked her to estimate the amount of time she allowed her students to talk in class. She guessed it was about five minutes. But when her coach played a recording of the class and timed it, Yazarlou was shocked to learn that students had only spoken for 30 seconds.

After that experience, Yazarlou became more aware of the importance of giving students ample talk time. Today, as an instructional coach in California, she sometimes asks teachers to record themselves on their smartphones, similar to what her coach did for her. Only this time, she uses artificial intelligence (AI) tools to analyze the recordings, a method that is becoming more popular in teacher professional development and coaching.

Companies like TeachFX provide data analytics platforms that analyze lesson recordings to provide detailed reports. For example, TeachFX can identify insights such as the use of open-ended questions, building on students’ responses, and the frequency of academic language usage. The tool presents its findings conversationally, just like ChatGPT, and prompts teachers to reflect on their practices and make adjustments.

It’s important to note that TeachFX does not make recommendations, leaving the decision-making to the teachers and their coaches. The recordings and analysis are private to teachers, although schools with enterprise licenses can access anonymized insights. Yazarlou has found that using TeachFX has led to significant growth and improvement in her teachers’ practices.

Another AI-based tool, called AI Coach from Edthena, uses automated interactivity to guide teachers through the reflection process. The tool helps teachers set goals and provides questions for reflection while watching their recorded lessons. Teachers can annotate their videos and receive curated online resources to support their professional growth.

Research shows that reviewing lessons, whether through video or audio recordings, can enhance teachers’ self-reflection and improve their teaching practices. However, video reflection may not always be intuitive, and having a coach or an AI assistant can provide valuable guidance and new perspectives. Teachers who engage with AI coaching often experience improvement and a greater enthusiasm for the coaching process.

In the end, it is the sense of empowerment that teachers gain from reflective thinking and self-improvement that truly impacts their practice. AI tools are valuable resources, but it is the critical thinking skills and dedication of teachers that drive their professional growth.

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