Meaningful Feedback That Matters: Using Video in Formative Assessment

For several decades, education experts have been looking at the value of using audiovisual tools in teaching. It turns out that when it comes to providing feedback and assessments, screencasting makes an impact. When giving a formative assessment to student work, you get to ensure that your meaning can’t be misheard through text.

Here is why you should use video in your formative assessments.

Why Formative Assessment Matters

Formative assessment is any type of assessment that takes while students are still learning and mastering skills. In contrast, summative assessment occurs at the end of a chapter or unit to evaluate the student’s learning and compare it to a standard or benchmark. Formative assessment matters because it provides both teachers and students with low-stakes, ongoing means to assess and adapt instruction and learning to improve student engagement, confidence, and achievement.

When you’re working with students and trying to grade them with meaningful feedback, it’s important to find the right medium. Meaningful feedback is more than saying something is good or bad, that they get an A or an F. Meaningful feedback needs to look at the student in context of their overall work and what they’re capable of.

When you’re dealing with esoteric material, students need descriptions that make sense. Connect student performance needs to the aim of the course. That’s the best way for a student to get the most out of the material and to press through their challenges.

Every student learns and grows in different ways. Each student has a foundation of knowledge that’s different than other students. Their feedback needs to be about their strengths and weaknesses.

Putting this down on paper is challenging if you want students to understand you. Helping students learn how to deal with the material that’s in front of them takes time and attention. Writing things out can be challenging and actually more time consuming than using video.

Video provides consistent feedback without having to squeeze it into the margins of a paper. Things you have to say get lost in document feedback margins that come with word processing software. Rather than struggling with the wrong medium, a video has become useful.

Why Screencast Your Formative Assessments?

When you’re looking to give feedback for an online course or for a course with a lot of students, screencasting makes sense. When getting comments on work, students get to see something a little more human and face to face.

When dealing with drafted work or preliminary versions of something, it’s better to give your formative assessments via screencasts or videos. Students submit digital work now. It allows you to stay within the space of a computer or laptop and streamline the process.

With screencasting, you can highlight passages that need more visual help and explain them in plain language. Rather than writing feedback that can get misconstrued, you can communicate in a clear way.

When you see an error repeated, you can highlight it once and bring it up. You can also explain how those errors interfere with the success of the project. If you’re looking at a paper, you can add some suggestions to how the trajectory of the narrative or thesis improves.

Creating screencasts communicate your formative assessments in a way that’s familiar to students. Since an increasing number of students learn through video tutorials, they’re likely to find your feedback useful. The formative assessment of a project requires some wordiness and a measured tone if you want students to heed of your words.

Video creates a level of authentic connection between you and students. This helps your words have a greater resonance and to release better students onto the world.

What About Summative Assessment?

You don’t have to restrict your use of screencasting to your formative assessments. You can use it for giving summative assessments.

When a project finishes and you’re looking to give them valuable feedback, using video allows you to compare work to your grading rubric. You can pick out portions that match the rubric or that you think make good examples of it. You can choose examples that fail and show them the difference.

In a conversational way, you’ll be able to explain the grade that they received. This is a much friendlier and more impactful solution than a simple letter grade. Students are going to walk away learning something meaningful.

There are plenty of students comfortable telling instructors that they need A/V tools. This means that those students who’ve struggled to put together a project despite learning disabilities can get feedback in a way they’ll appreciate.

Explaining the reasoning for your grade is going to free up a lot of unnecessary meeting during your office hours and ensure that students understand you. Many students get emotional when they see the final grade on a project but if they understand what’s behind it, they’ll be more satisfied.

Meet Students Where They Are

One of the greatest revelations in the world of teaching in recent decades is to try to personalize the way that we teach. Instead of grouping all students with learning disabilities together, we now try to teach students based on their needs.

This is vital to help create students who are better equipped to deal with challenges that face them. Instead of forcing them to deal with handwritten notes or text-based feedback, communicating through audiovisual tools gives them what they need.

Teaching students who have varying needs requires sensitivity. If you’re sensitive to the perspective of students, you’ll grow together. You’ll become a more effective teacher and gain a positive reputation.

Aside from learning disabilities, there are technological barriers that students need to have met. Rather than asking students to use the tools that you use, you can use tools that integrate with what they’re already using.

Our tools work across a variety of platforms to engage every user. We aim to meet the needs of digital classrooms today and in the future. You can find students connecting with you and others when they’re using the same tools.

Video Plays an Important Role in Formative Assessment

It’s challenging to get your formative assessment to land on the ears of your students. Students face complex problems. A formative assessment is a great way to share meaningful solutions.

Audiovisual tools are a smart solution gives your students what they’re looking for in a way that they can understand. And interactive video quizzing can be an easy and engaging way to incorporate formative assessment into your flipped classroom as well as any video lesson.

For ways to make your classroom more of a digital environment, check out our latest guide. Then explore these easy and creative formative assessment examples for any classroom.

Quick Links:

7 ways to use video quizzes for formative assessment

Collaborate anytime, anywhere with Screencast-O-Matic and Google

8 easy EdTech tools to use

7 creative ways to use video in the classroom