How Video Assessments Let Students Display Their Mastery
Blog post by Stacey Pusey based on this edLeader Panel
With modern assessments, teachers don’t want students to just recite facts from their lessons–teachers want to know whether or not students understand the skills and how to use them. And while there are pencil-and-paper assessments that can provide this information, presenters from a recent edLeader Panel believe, when available, video offers a powerful alternative.
In “How to Improve Student Assessment and Learning with Asynchronous Video,” panelists discussed the key benefits and challenges of using video assessments.
- Authenticity: For many subjects, using paper and pencil seems antithetic to the course. For example, if a student is studying music, a demonstration of the skills can be more aligned with the course’s goals. Moreover, if a project requires collaboration, then a video offers multiple opportunities for each student to contribute.
- Asynchronous: First, students can complete video assessments when they’re ready, instead of the traditional tests that must all be taken at the same time. In addition, students can work on a project together, even if they can’t meet in person.
- Differentiation: With the new technologies available, video is just one more tool that students can use to demonstrate mastery. Teachers can vary their assessments by the needs of the curriculum and the needs of their students.
- Increased assessment capabilities: While watching an assessment, teachers will get visual cues about their students’ understanding of the subject. Using video also allows students to demonstrate and apply their knowledge in unique ways instead of trying to come up with the same correct answer as every other student. And when instructors are using video as part of instruction, they can easily embed small knowledge checks throughout the presentation.
- Real-world applications: Video is increasingly used outside of the classroom, so students who’ve used it for assessments are acquiring a real-world skill. More important, many students are already using video on social media and other platforms and welcome the opportunity to use these skills at school.
- Shareable: Students and teachers can easily share a video portfolio with parents, other educators, etc.
- Tech barrier: While educators and students may want to use video, both need the ability to create, view, and collaborate on assignments outside of the classroom. This includes hardware, software, and internet capabilities.
- Rubrics: Students shouldn’t just be told to “make a video.” There should be detailed rubrics for each assessment. And the rubrics should focus on the learning goals of the course and not necessarily on the students’ cinematic skills.
- Time: Producing video takes time for students, but it also takes time for the teachers to view, comment, and grade.
- Mindshift: If teachers aren’t using video in their instruction, then it’s probably not the best tool for their assessments. Administrators shouldn’t just tell teachers they have to use video. Instead, they should look for the teachers already innovating in the classroom and ask them to find small ways to start using video.
- Authenticity: Just as authenticity is a benefit of video assessments, it’s also a challenge. Instead of using video for video’s sake, teachers need to ask what is the most authentic way for students to demonstrate their skills.
Overall, the presenters advised that educators start small, evaluate their efforts, and work with other schools and teachers who’ve used video to see what practices best apply to their students.
Learn more about this edWeb broadcast, “How to Improve Student Assessment and Learning with Asynchronous Video,” sponsored by Screencastify.
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