Use of 360-Degree Recording Technology in Teacher Self-Reflection


William M. Dabback, James Madison University

Jon M. Stapleton, James Madison University


The purpose of this research is to explore the use of 360-degree recording technology and its potential applications in high school instrumental teachers’ reflective practices and student assessment. Education scholars since Dewey have identified the need for teachers to reflect on teaching and learning interactions as a mechanism for improving practice. Self-reflection is especially important for inservice music teachers, who typically receive professional feedback from administrators who may lack both time to engage and subject-specific expertise to inform assessments (Edgar, 2012). Schön (1991) offered that reflections on teaching happen in action (in the moment) or on action (subsequent to the teaching and learning episode). Regarding the latter, authors have explored the use of guided writing, journaling, and collaborative examination of written artifacts to reflect on music teaching and learning over time (Reynolds & Beitler, 2007).


Many researchers have documented the benefits of video recording as a tool to enhance or reframe teachers’ reflective practices (Brawdy & Byra, 1994; Dawson et al., 2001; Hougham, 1992; Koorland et al., 1985; Shepherd & Hannafin, 2008, 2009; Stadler, 2003; Storeygard & Fox, 1995; Wedman, Espinosa & Laffey, 1999). Teachers have reported the use of video recording as more helpful than traditional observation and feedback for identifying disconnections between their actions and beliefs regarding best practices (Deasy et al. (1991) as cited in Wang & Hartley (2003)). Researchers and practitioners have begun to integrate video-editing into the reflective process through which teachers compile clips of desirable and undesirable teaching practices as a method of analysis (Cunningham and Benedetto, 2002; Dawson et al., 2001); however, standard video technologies still pose limitations. Educators can only record one subject (i.e., teacher or students) at a time, leading to assessments that may ignore important aspects of teacher-student interactions. Multiple cameras can reveal more information, but viewing and editing footage requires more time and offers an imperfect solution to classroom recording.


The emergence of affordable and accessible virtual reality video recording technology allows teachers to capture an entire classroom at once, opening doors to new reflective practices. Orman has used virtual environments designed to affect anxiety levels in practice sessions as a means to desensitize musicians to anxiety in performance (2003). She has also explored the effect of virtual reality immersion on eye contact, directional focus, and focus of attention of undergraduate conductors (2010). There are few inquiries into how this technology might be used in the reflective practices of inservice teachers.


The purpose of this research is to explore how virtual reality technology might enhance or transform the reflective practices of inservice music teachers. Three inservice high school music teachers will participate in recording three of their classes over the span of a month with a 360-degree video camera. Researchers will provide guiding questions for reflection in addition to in-person sessions with each practitioner (Miyata, 2002; Pailliotet, 1995; van Es & Sherin, 2002). Data from written responses and personal interviews will be coded and analyzed to identify participants’ perceptions on the efficacy of video reflection using virtual reality technology.




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