Preparing the Shoot
1. You will need to plan ahead – the video clip(s) must be shot during the learning segment you are analyzing for the Teaching Event. The video clip should be of actual teaching, as opposed to the delivery of instructions for an assignment, or a review of material before a test or quiz.
2. If you are unfamiliar with the videotaping process and/or do not have access to video equipment, consider the following resources for equipment and videotaping assistance.
- your master teacher (identifying potential school resources and assisting you with videotaping)
- your university supervisor
- the Elementary and Secondary Education Departments have camcorders and tripods available for check-out. You will need to purchase a mini-DVD on which to record your video clip.
- another student teacher who has done or is doing videotaping; or
- friends and family (for equipment only).
3. If you need a camera operator, look to people who already have approval to be in classrooms, e.g., your cooperating teacher, university supervisor, designated student helpers, or fellow student teachers.
4. Think about where you and your students will be during the activities to be captured on the videotape. If some students have not submitted the permission or release forms, arrange to have those students out of camera range. Will different activities require students to regroup and move around the classroom? How will the use of instructional materials be recorded? What will the camera need to capture? If applicable, when should the camera operator zoom in or rotate the camera to a new position?
5. Meet with the camera operator to plan the taping prior to videotaping your lesson, and plan to use a tripod for all or part of the shoot. Share your lesson plan and discuss your plans to capture the teaching and learning. Even if you want the camera operator to move around to capture group or pair work, only a tripod will avoid shaking images. For safety reasons, tape extension cords to the floor with duct tape.
6. Practice the videotaping process. This will provide a chance to test the equipment and give your students an opportunity to grow accustomed to the camera. This will also help you catch possible snags, such as a camera flash “whiting-out” images you have on a screen.
7. Adjust, if necessary, for the light source each time a recording is made. Newer cameras may have a switch for recording in incandescent, florescent, or daylight or may be completely automatic. Do not place the camera facing the window or other bright sources of light.
8. If you are having trouble hearing yourself and/or the students, try placing the camera closer to the action OR use an external microphone plugged into the camera. Confirm that this turns the internal microphone off. If the camera operator wears headphones plugged into the camera, the sound quality can be monitored during taping. If possible, turn off audible heating or air-conditioning fans; if not possible, locate and point the camera away from them.