Student Engagement Using Video Feedback

When a learning environment enrollment hits a certain threshold, both the educators and students are in danger of diminishing learning outcomes. Many stages of the learning process can suffer as a result. The quality and frequency of student feedback and engagement is one area that has been impacted by growing class sizes. New ideas and methods, such as the video feedback approach are helping to scale traditional learning practices to meet the demands of the modern learning environment.

University of California, San Diego’s Tanya Hall, Dean Tracy, and Andy Lamey share their insights and experiences using video feedback to offer a more personal and constructive approach to student engagement in their philosophy courses.

Video Feedback Highlights:

While the UCSD trio teach in the philosophy discipline, many of the ideas are universally applicable to other subjects as well. The findings identify numerous advantages of using video feedback over traditional methods like written comments and note that these methods are “underappreciated and underutilized”.

Full Resource: Exploring Video Feedback in Philosophy: Benefits for Instructors and Students

Below are some of our key takeaways from Hall, Tracy, and Lamey’s publication

Video Feedback Example:

Lamey uses video feedback in classes ranging from 40 – 280 students and has found that starting each video with a brief summary of each assignment in his own words and then delving into the specifics, still enables him to save time with this method over the traditional, written method. After trying this new system, he gathered feedback from students through a survey from which he learned:

The ability to see the body language and hear the tone of voice during feedback made students more receptive. Lamey was also able to convey the seriousness/level of the mistake more clearly through video, which made him more sensitive to how he was communicating with the students and imply more of a constructive tone vs criticism.

Best practices used by Lamey when applying this method include:

  1. Being aware of surroundings and appearance when taping videos – grading in a robe may not come across well.
  2. Don’t be overly critical of yourself because re-taping will defeat the purpose of saving time with this method.

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Advantages of Video Feedback

  1. Video form provides higher quality communication with more detail, clearer instructions, and a more personalized approach to education.
  2. Offers a tool that shines in the “student-centered, intenional learning framework.”
  3. Video establishes a form of communication preferable to students making them more motivated to act on the feedback.

Student Response to Video Feedback

After analyzing the self-report student surveys Hall, Tracy, and Lamey found the student responses to be positive. Students showed a preference for the video feedback over traditional written methods and found value in the personalizing, engaging, and motivating nature of the feedback. When asked what made video feedback better than written, one student responded “…the level of involvement shows the grader thoroughly read through my essay and specifically dissects the problems for me to improve, which is difficult to do in a written response.”

Formative vs. Summative Feedback

In a previous blog, we talked about Formative Assessments and Real-Time Results and the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse of your class during the learning process. Video feedback is an effective technique that is focused on offering a more proactive, improvement-focused method of communication. Traditional, summative feedback is more reactive and tends to explain the grade or mark, rather than offering suggestions for growth.

In summary, it is clear that video feedback, whether it is a philosophy course or any other discipline, offers undeniable benefits for both the instructor and students. If you are looking for a way to give feedback on papers that is more personalized for the students and actually saves you time, there are several programs out there that make it simple.

If you use the Canvas LMS system, the Media Comment tool is an excellent resource that “leads to increased student engagement and better outcomes.” Blackboard, Moodle and WebCT also have options to upload a file to the virtual learning environment (VLE).

Jing is a free tool as well that is user-friendly and makes it easy to share assignments and feedback with students through email, instead of handing back stacks of papers after spending tedious hours of writing all over each one of them.

Want to learn more about #CreatingEngagement in your classes?

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Curious about other student engagement areas? Check out these topics from the #CreatingEngagement series:

  1. Connecting with Students
  2. Understanding Front and Back-End Classroom Facilitation
  3. Providing Answers to Questions

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