Much of psychology education deals with the challenge of how to effectively teach and evaluate skills professionals need in certain interactions. For example, think about conversational skills psychologists need in interactions such as a parent-child interaction, group discussion, or an individual counseling meeting. In these cases, the feedback given by the expert to the student is of crucial importance. However, having a teacher sit in on the interaction might have an unwanted effect on the situation at hand. What can we do to improve the learning experience of the student and make the process run as smoothly as possible for the teacher?
What if I were a teacher? Record interactions on video
Understanding behavior during an interaction becomes much easier with video observations. You as a teacher can comment on video images, and the student can watch him/herself over and over again to learn skills he/she needs. The possibility to see exactly what is happening during a training session enables the student to understand and embrace feedback much faster compared to other feedback instruments such as written reports. Video feedback enables students to watch and learn.
In addition, you as a teacher can set up interactions that require certain skills. Record the sessions, provide feedback and let the student sharpen his or her competences.
What are others already attempting? Learn more about this training facility
At Delaware Valley University, a state-of-the-art training facility has been created to train Counseling Psychology students. The faculty at Delaware Valley University has proven their dedication to using Viso software to train new counselors. Skill-based courses are highly interactive and held in the lab, where students role-play, practice, and learn through hands-on experience. Practice sessions can be observed, recorded and reviewed to provide authentic feedback and growth opportunities. The lab is a cornerstone of the program, and consists of a large conference room, six small counseling rooms, and a control room.
With the Viso system (the video system that captures information) installed in the Counseling Psychology training facility since early 2014, Delaware Valley University will remain at the forefront of training counselors. The training facility allows students to observe mock counseling sessions through two-way mirrors, and to make video recordings of those sessions.
From a student’s point of view, faster learning is motivating
Students should critically evaluate which school would really help them learn. I remember choosing a driver school to be able to pass my driving test fast. I saw that on average, 40 lessons would be enough to pass the test. I passed with 24. Why? I chose a school where I would be able to sit in the back seat while watching another student drive. For both of us, this meant that we passed our driving exam faster. I would say I was able to pass the test quickly because I learned from his (sorry Bert) many mistakes.
Back to psychology education
The experiences you undergo at school empower you to become a better professional in the field. Bring your experience and skills into the real world, and you will feel that you can really make a difference. For example, video and audio recordings made by Viso can be viewed by students including the feedback the teacher gave. You can also be asked to comment on each other and see what you can learn from another student making their own mistakes (remember the driving school experience I told you about). Seeing what happens and providing feedback is almost as valuable as being the psychologist-in-training during the mockup counseling session.
Having an index of your own recordings will later allow you to locate particular events in your rapidly growing portfolio of recordings, and will help you learn in the most efficient way. You can also ask a teacher to review an old recording to get his/her feedback on a particular interaction. Viso is an available system that can help you find recordings quickly by date, teacher name, or session name.
Since many faculties for psychology have multiple classes of students wanting to learn skills at the same time, a system such as Viso can be set up as a multi-room video recording system. That means that teachers do not have to wait on each other to be able to schedule sessions.
You can schedule training sessions in two rooms at a time. For example, students can practice conversation skills in one room, while counseling psychology students practice an intake interview in another room. No matter what kind of facility, large or small, video systems can be implemented with one to four cameras per room in order to best facilitate learning. Watching yourself or your fellow students make mistakes enables you to learn.