Interacting with pre-service teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons learned from the needs assessment
Abstract: The year 2020 has been a year like no other in education and the world at large. Teacher preparation programs were minding their business of preparing pre-service teachers to become effective teachers but had to change course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teacher preparation continued differently—facilitated heavily by technology platforms such as Zoom, Collaborate, and Adobe Connect. The purpose of the needs assessment was three-fold: (1) To ascertain pertinent information regarding technology requirements for the success of students into the teacher education program. (2) To assess students’ primary concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and (3) To identify students’ preferred mode for learning. The needs assessment was created in Google Docs and sent to students registered for the class via the student’s school email. August 24, one week before school started, the needs assessment was sent out. A total of 37 pre-service teachers completed the needs assessment (18 males and 19 females). Results indicated 97.3% of the respondents having reliable Internet access at home; the primary concerns regarding COVID-19 were their health/safety (54.1%) and completing their education (45.9%). The majority of respondents (94.6%) indicated they were looking forward to completing the fall 2020 semester because that made them advance their preparation as they get closer to graduating as a teacher.
Presider: Natalie Johnson-Leslie, Arkansas State University