How I Use Video For Assessment In My Classroom

When it comes to supporting a student’s progress, showing them what they can do to improve or perform better is the key.

image attribution flickr user flickeringbrad

How I Use Video For Assessment In My Classroom

contributed by Steve WheelerLearning Innovations Consultant

I have always believed that assessment should be primarily for the benefit of the student, not the teacher.

I concede that teachers need to know how their students are progressing, and this is very much a part of the assessment process. However, assessment of learning is not as important as assessment for learning. When it comes to supporting a student’s progress, showing them what they can do to improve or perform better is the key.

Formative forms of assessment are therefore more important in the process of learning. As I have previously argued, I believe summative assessment methods are only useful to mark an end to a specific period of learning, a gateway into the next stage of the learning journey (and I’m not convinced we should even be doing this in many cases).

In my teaching, I have therefore focused on assessment as a means of scaffolding student progress, and I employ a variety of methods to achieve this end. I don’t like the end of module assessments much. They are there to confirm the level the student has achieved, but more importantly, they should be used to inform students how they should proceed to achieve higher grades next time.

This can be quite a superficial exercise, especially if the student learns nothing from writing the assignment.

How I Use Video For Assessment In My Classroom

One recent assessment method I have used is to get students to make videos. Here’s the process.

1. Students are introduced to a new concept, presented with some basic content and guidelines, and asked to go away and research more deeply around their topic.

2. Each student in the group is given a different topic to research. They are then asked to create a video (or another form of presentation) and show it to their classmates.

3. What ensues is an open discussion, with tutor participation, to explore more deeply the topic in question. In parallel to this, the student presenter is challenged to defend their perspective, to think critically about their own views, and to discuss the process they went through to create the video.

The latter promotes metacognitive processes, because the student has to reflect upon how they have learned what they know and to examine their own thought processes. All the students learn about all the topics through watching the presentations and asking questions.

4. Student presenters receive feedback on their work from their peers, their tutor, and ultimately when they publish their video on YouTube, from viewers who are beyond their own learning community. This forms a very powerful mix and progression of learning through making, thinking, questioning and interaction.

The Results

Below is a small selection of the videos my own second-year teacher education students have made this week around the theme of learning theories. In this instance, these videos represent the next level of learning to that described in the process above.

They have already blogged about one specific learning theory, and have then combined it with another theory to create their own synthesis of understanding about how theories relate to each other to better explain learning. The videos depict this synthesis in a variety of styles.

A video entitled Applying theory to the classroom by Alice Sheppard and Laura Mayo, incorporating Maslow’s theory with the spreading activation memory theory of Collins and Quillian.

This video by Portia Smith presents Gestalt theory and its applications to primary education, with a contrast to structuralist theory.

Finally, one more video by Rebecca Smallshaw which examines the Pygmalion and Golem effects (self-fulfilling prophecy theory.

The video for assessment by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.