Thursday, February 11, 2016

Teaching Tip - Video Feedback for Students

For the last few semesters, I have required my Composition II students to complete a public writing project. Since their final work is published on the web, I couldn’t provide them with the type of feedback that I normally do using Microsoft Word: in-text comments throughout their essay and some narrative comments at the end. 

Since I still want to point out specific features within the text as well as provide some summary comments, I use Video Feedback—and I actually receive positive reviews from the students about the videos. The process is relatively quick and easy (once I got the hang of the technology), and it can be used by any instructor who wants to provide some personalized feedback on their students’ work. It doesn’t just have to be a writing assignment; it would work well for any type of digital submission required of students. 

Using Screen Capture, I use the mouse to indicate specific areas within the essay I want to discuss with my students. I simply move my cursor arrow around the general area, or highlight specific parts of the text while I tell the student what I want to say about his/her work. Then, I am able to move my cursor to the next section I wish to discuss. 

To create Video Feedback, you will need a computer equipped with a microphone and a simple Screen Capture program. I used Jing, a program available for FREE download. Now, Kaltura, an easy Screen Capture program, is already available within Desire2Learn (D2L). The advantage of Kaltura is that the video files are easily saved within the “My Media” area within D2L, which makes sharing those videos with students even simpler. As for a microphone, I recommend one of the external headset microphones; they make for much better sound quality. 

 Try these basic steps for giving Video Feedback: 
  1. Read and review student’s work first, taking notes on what you wish to say. Organize your thoughts a bit before you begin recording. 
  2. Call up the student’s work on your computer screen, then open Jing or Kaltura whichever you prefer. Set the screen capture area to record just the student’s work, not your entire computer screen. 
  3. Begin recording, making sure to talk slowly and clearly. Begin with some overall thoughts, especially something positive. Then spend time pointing out interesting ideas or possible areas for improvement. 
  4. If you need to discuss grammar/mechanics errors that overwhelm a student’s writing, do so in a general statement about the problem. Don’t try to point out each and every error; instead, choose one or two examples that are indicative of the patterns you are observing. 
  5. Keep the videos under five minutes. 
  6. Upload the videos to each student using a D2L dropbox. If the students did not submit the work to a dropbox, create one in D2L anyway. In the Folder Submissions view, select Users without submissions then click on the search icon; you will then be able to see all of the students, enter their grades, and upload the Video Feedback for each one. 

If you would like assistance getting started on providing Video Feedback to your students, email Leslie Johnson at or stop by the CTE in TLC 324 during our open hours.