Project SCOUT (School Classroom Observations Using Telepresence) details findings from a pilot project where observers used a telepresence robot designed to capture teaching episodes. The study examined: 1) participants’ ability to review classroom teaching and determine teaching quality using a telepresence format; 2) whether a telepresence robot allowed observers to review the specific teaching competencies they would otherwise evaluate during in-person observations; and 3) the success of the telepresence robot in evaluating specific pedagogical environments (i.e., Montessori classrooms). Survey and observation data from two focal classrooms highlight the benefits of telepresence tools by allowing flexibility and the potential for a wider audience of observers using real time data collection. Limitations of a telepresence robot include challenges in its ability to capture classroom nuances necessary for evaluation, coaching, or supervisory support. Those who use a telepresence robot must be particularly sensitive to using a technology that might cause privacy and safety concerns for children and their families, particularly for marginalized communities.
Burbank, M. D., Goldsmith, M. M., Bates, A. J., Spikner, J., & Park, K. (2021). Teacher Observations Using Telepresence Robots: Benefits and Challenges for Strengthening Evaluations. Journal of Educational Supervision, 4 (1). https://doi.org/10.31045/jes.4.1.6