Lesson viewing was investigated in three conditions in which the use of viewing guides was varied. Twelve second-year students from a preservice teacher education programme viewed a 3½-minute compilation from an arithmetics lesson in one of the conditions: no viewing guide; a viewing guide consisting only of category headings; and a viewing guide structured in the form of categories containing explicit, evidence-based viewing points. Think-aloud protocols and retrospective interviews were administered, transcribed and coded using the Cognitive Process Development Model developed by Chan and Harris. The students’ responses were coded reliably with a condensed version of this model. The students in the most structured condition made most statements and these statements were significantly more interpretive and less judgemental than those in the other conditions.

The main conclusion is that lesson viewing can be made more effective when students use structured viewing guides.