Saturday, August 14th, 2010...2:18 am

Student Assessment Using Video Feedback

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I often feel stifled in my writing because I feel like I should only produce a blog when I have something big to say.  I am realizing, however, that I have come to know about so many great technology resources simply because other bloggers have shared their experiences.

I have decided that one way for me to ensure that I blog more consistently is to establish some routines.  Since I am always experimenting with different ways to bring effective technology practices into my classroom, I am going to make an concerted effort to post a blog every week about a single piece of educational technology that I have tried.  Mostly, I just want to share my experiences (good or bad) and I hope to be able to articulate the following key ideas:

  • What is it and where I heard about it
  • How and why I tried it
  • If it worked well or not and why

This year, I tried something entirely new to me:  providing students with feedback through recorded videos.  I got the idea from one of my favourite bloggers, Shelly Blake-Plock, author of TeachPaperless.  The basic idea is  that you read through a piece of student work on the computer and use screen capture software to record a video of your comments as you are reading their work.  I used a free program called Jing.  The program is incredibly easy to use and the videos can be downloaded to your computer or uploaded to Screencast using the 2Gb of storage provided to when you sign up with Jing.

Seeing as I am accepting more and more work from my students electronically, using screen capture software allows me to give descriptive feedback in a way that is far more natural and personal.  I was motivated to try this method for a two main reasons:

1. Time Saving

I am always frustrated with how much time I spend writing comments on student work.  It seems there is no way to communicate complicated ideas quickly and effectively.  In general, the less I write, the poorer the quality of the feedback.  In the past, I have found myself writing comments like “unclear” or “incorrect,” or sometimes even “no!” or “?“.  Clearly these comments are of no real value to a student.  If something is “unclear,” why is it unclear and what can be done to fix it?  Recording feedback is useful to me because in a video recording I can SAY so much more that I could ever write.

2. Personalization

When a student watches the video, it’s as though I am reading their work with them sitting right beside me.  They can see exactly what sentence/idea I am referring to and commenting on.  I also feel as though students will be more willing to watch the entire video to receive the feedback.  In many cases, I find that students are not much interested in written feedback on paper assignments.  The video feels more like a conversation, which is a much more natural way to give and receive feedback.  In addition, the video feedback is sent to the students directly as a link in an email.  They can choose to watch the video when it is convenient for them.  I think this is far better than handing out 30 assignments at the end of a period before the students go off to another class.

I have included an example of some video feedback that I recorded for an assignment last semester.  The assignment was called, “Forces in Everyday Life” and it involved students taking pictures or capturing videos of places in their community that are experiencing forces.  Students were to draw force diagrams of the object(s) as well as write a brief description of how Newton’s Laws applied in each situation.

For my first time creating feedback videos I feel like it worked very well.  My students seemed to take positively to the technology as well.  I am looking forward to using this approach more often in the coming year to see how effective it is with repeated and consistent implementation.

Photo Credit:  quinn.anya



14 Comments

  • this sounds amazing Graham. I enjoyed watching the video even when it wasn’t my own assignment! I hope this continues to develop for you.

  • Great activity and a great way to give feedback! I could even see using a webcam, Flipcam, or document projector to give video feedback to written work.

    How did you deal with privacy concerns? Could all the students access each other’s videos once you posted them?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Seeing as this was my first time trying video feedback, I went to the extra trouble of saving the videos to my computer. Then, I emailed each student the video file directly. This is obviously not a very functional solution, since it took a long time to upload each of the videos, and would take a long time for students to download them, which might deter them from watching the video at all.

      In the future, I would probably upload the videos to YouTube using the “Private” feature – with this configuration, a person can only access the video if they know the exact web address, which I could email to each student.

  •   Mike Curtis
    August 26th, 2010 at 12:48 pm    Reply

    Hi Graham,
    I work on the Jing team and the Jing blog. (http://blog.jingproject.com) I love this post you made. What a great example to share! I’m planning on writing up a little post and directing people here.

    Also–quick question: Have you tried the Screencast.com button direct from Jing? That will return a link and is private too.

    Here’s more detail: http://blog.screencast.com/2010/07/screencastcom-gets-an-educatio.html

    Well, keep up the great work! I hope the students like it and shoot us an email with any suggestions or feedback.

    Mike Curtis, TechSmith

    • Hi Mike, thanks for the great feedback.

      I have not tried the screencast.com button, as I had presumed that the videos would be publicly hosted. If I can produce a private link to email to each student, then I will definitely use that method in the future. I really appreciate the input.

      And, thanks for referencing my blog on the Jing blog! That’s pretty cool.

  • Graham – what a great idea! I am an English teacher looking for more effective ways to give meaningful feedback. I will be trying your method this year! Jing (Mike) – thank you for posting Graham’s idea on your site.

    • Thanks for the feedback.

      You will probably find that giving video feedback will seem to take longer in the beginning, but once you have a system for saving the video, uploading it, and sharing it with a particular student, it gets much easier. Most importantly, even if marking an assignment with video feedback does take longer, the amount of useful feedback you can give is far greater than anything you could write with a pen in a short amount of time.

      I would be happy to hear how it goes for you. Keep me posted!

  •   Ken Roper
    November 9th, 2010 at 4:25 pm    Reply

    Only those who are sent the link to a video hosted on Screencast are able to see the video. You can create a folder for shared videos, if desired, but that is not the default. This should make the process of sending links to your students much more efficient.

    • Thanks for the recommendation Ken. I will definitely use the private links in Screencast to share video feedback with students in the future. The only one major downside of this method is the fact that Screencast is blocked at my school (as is true for all video streaming sites). This means that students can only get feedback while at home and are not able to using the computers at school. I know this is not a big obstacle for most students, but it is certainly something to consider as not all students will have a computer with internet at home.

  • Hi

    Thanks Graham. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while but have been reticent about trying it out. I support teachers in the use of Moodle and assessment using Jing would be great but for the issue you mention about linking to Jing. I use Jing to support clients so it seems a natural step to take an encourage teachers – if King returned embed code rather than a link it would be a winner in many schools because it would overcome the issue where schools prevent access. Mike can this be done?

  •   Mike Curtis, TechSmith
    November 12th, 2010 at 8:12 am    Reply

    Hi Jeremy and everyone,

    I think the question is if Jing can return embed code? Yep. It sure can–and there are a few ways:

    1. Screencast.com embed code: http://www.techsmith.com/learn/jing/tutorials/share/embed-jing-content/

    2. YouTube embed code (Jing Pro only): http://www.techsmith.com/learn/jing/tutorials/share/the-youtube-button/

    3. If you want to get a little technical you can set up your own code in conjunction with your FTP server: http://www.techsmith.com/learn/jing/tutorials/share/the-ftp-button/

    Hope that’s helpful!
    Mike Curtis, TechSmith

  • your post is so informative, thanks for sharing,keep sharing.
    Assignments Writing Help

  • In my marking I use a combination of written, recorded audio, and sometimes video feedback embedded into the Word document using comments and tracked changes. I ended up creating a Word add-in that integrates into any version of word for Windows to make the process a lottle easier (e.g. I can save the any comment and then pick it from a floating toolbar in future or automated erubrics that record, add, recale marks and convert them to grades).

    You can have a look at a demo video at
    http://emarkingassistant.com/emarking_movie.htm

    There is a free 30 day trial but I would be happy to provide a free 1 year license to eMarking Assistant to the first 5 of your readers who contact me at info@eMarkingAssistant.com quoting the title of your blog.

  • Try this for video feedback http://videobl.com http://videobl.com Completely free and does exactly that – captures answers on video.

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