Kopcha & Alger eSupervision and student teacher supervision

Kopcha, T. J., & Alger, C. (2011). The impact of technology-enhanced student teacher supervision on student teacher knowledge, performance, and self-efficacy during the field experience. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 45(1), pp. 49-73.

Summary: This mixed methods study was designed to understand the effects of eSupervision, an online series of five modules coupled with discussion boards and video conferencing, as compared to non-eSupervision users on PSTs’ knowledge, performance, and self-efficacy in their practicum. The researchers conclude that eSupervision did enhance the experience as compared to their peers and that technology-driven supervision has potential in the supervision of student teachers.

Key Words: technology, technology driven supervision, student teaching, field experiences, pre-service teachers, social nature of learning


Conceptual Framework:

Cognitive Apprenticeship


Research Questions:

  • How do the knowledge, performance, and self-efficacy of student teachers who receive eSupervision during their field experience compare to students who receive traditional supervision?
  • What relationships exist among teacher knowledge and performance, self-efficacy, and use of eSupervision technology?
  • In what ways does eSupervision technology play a role in the development of student teachers’ knowledge, performance, and self-efficacy?



Mixed methods, quasi-experimental design w/semi structured interviews (9 interviews total); experimental group was the eSupervision student teachers; the control group was the non-eSupervision students



41 student teachers (19 eSupervision, 22 non-eSupervision) completed statewide assessment

17 student teachers (8 eSupervision, 9 non-eSupervision) completed a pre- & post-efficacy measure



  1. “The results indicate that the electronic supervision methods used in eSupervision may be an effective alternative to traditional approaches to student teacher supervision during the field experience” (p. 66).

    1. “…eSupervision student teachers received fewer site visits by their supervisor, but had greater access to supervisory experiences mediated by technology (video reflection, online discussion, lesson plan EPSS, observation forms)” (p. 66).
    2. eSupervision students performed as well as their non-eSupervision peers.
  2. eSupervision students had more access to feedback from supervisors and others (peers and other supervisors in the discussion boards).
  3. “…eSupervision students had more opportunity to assess their level of mastery with teaching due to technology. eSupervision students reported that their ability to plan lessons became both internalized and routine due to the Lesson Plan EPSS, indicating a high level of mastery associated with the skill of planning” (p. 67).


Additional Key Passages: