How to Improve Interaction in the Classroom

Teacher making lesson in a teenagers classroom

As a teacher, interaction in the classroom is one of the most essential aspects to understand in order to help your students learn in the most effective way.

According to socio-cultural theory, learning happens through two things – language and interaction. It therefore helps to understand how both of these affect learning so that you can adapt your behaviours to deliver more effective lessons.

This is nothing new to teachers!

But how do you really understand what affects interaction in the classroom?

Learning new skills or knowledge comes from interactions between teachers and students – what’s happening in classrooms all day every day.

So when you’re able to see exactly what improves or dampens interaction, you can start to guide learning in certain directions. You’ll have seen these things clearly if you’ve observed just about any lesson yourself.

But you’ll also know that it’s sometimes not as easy to understand how to make changes.

We want to share some key ways that teachers using VEO have found to learn how to improve interaction and give students a better experience in the process.

VEO has been used in an international project to help teachers around the world to study and solve common issues surrounding classroom interaction. Here are some of the ways they’ve found to improve their own understanding of interaction in the classroom.

Evidence-based reflection and colleague feedback

Every teacher is all too aware that an interaction as small as acknowledging a student’s comment has massive potential to guide their learning. That’s why it’s so important to get it right.

For teachers, it starts with self-reflection. They record their own lesson and watch it back. They then tag their videos with comments or questions on specific moments in the video. The video is then shared with others who can respond, give feedback or discuss further.

Solve common problems with interaction

Through this simple process, a group of 20 teachers from schools in four countries observed each other’s lessons through VEO and solved common issues relating to classroom interaction, together.

Many of the group found that they were experiencing the same issues, despite teaching in completely different places in different types of schools. By sharing common problems and discussing specific moments of interaction, they were able to quickly implement new techniques in the classroom to see how it changed the experience.

Create an online community for teachers

This created an online community that was constantly connected, with a collaborative culture of feedback and development.

Teachers in different countries were able to clearly see how their colleagues taught their lessons. Because all of the lessons were recorded and stored on VEO, teachers could watch it back, comment on or tag videos in their own time, regardless of time difference.

This resulted in a strong online community of teachers across the world, all continuously helping each other to develop their classroom interaction skills.

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