Things to consider when providing Feedback

This page presents Feedback via screen capture as a tool for teaching and learning. It draws on our research and the case studies in HE.The use of screen capture feedback raises some initial questions, which this page aims to answer:

  1. What software and hardware do I need?
  2. Are there any specialist skills I need to learn?
  3. Do I have to change the way I mark?
  4. Is it time efficient?
  5. How do students feel about?

What software and hardware do I need?

Surprisingly, very little.

  1. A microphone, recording device and speakers. This could be the built-in microphone and speakers on a laptop, plug in microphone and speakers or a headset.
  2. Encoding software. You can buy sophisticated software or download freely available software see our download page.
There are advantages in having two screens attached to your computer, but this not a must.

Are there any specialist skills I need to learn?
No more than normal for computer operation. You will need to able to operate a computer and your students will have to hand in work electronically. You need to be aware of how to manage files and folders.

Do I have to change the way I mark?
  • Focus on the quality of the feedback as opposed to the quality of the recording. As long as the recording is coherent and not unpleasant to listen to student will benefit. The visual aspect allows you to clearly pinpoint the issue you are discussing.
  • Augmenting your feedback. You can show previously prepared files on screen, video, audio, images etc, these can enhance the feedback process.
  • Structure your feedback. Prepare in advance the areas you will discuss to help you cover all the points you intend to make. Unlike written feedback, it can be tricky to insert missing sections into digital video files. Remember you can pause the recording consider you answer and continue. If necessary you can record a second file for the student.
  • Try to stay positive. Even when providing criticism it is important to end points on a positive note.
  • Speak clearly. Try to avoid mumbling or sounding disinterested. Speak relatively slowly and at a consistent level at about 15com from the microphone.
  • Grade and Feed Forward. Indicate from a disciplinary perspective their level of performance in the video file towards the end. Provide suggestions on how to improve, and if possible show them on screen. The richer you make the recording the more you are feeding forward and reducing the need for students to see you.

Is it time efficient?

The obvious difference in providing screen capture feedback over written feedback is the reduction in time involved in the practices around composing the written words. Upload the file may be an additional task. There is an increase in the quality and quantity of feedback as you can add in a few or words item you would not have written down, you can demonstrate what you meant by a phrase, re-write the sentence in front of the student. You can reduce the number of personal student visits from uncertain student.

Depending on the type of assessment material and skill of the assessor, recording times range from 5 to 12 minutes, upload times vary dependant on network loading but about 2 minutes. Pre-reading of the assessment is optional and as skill level develop and the assessment material becomes more familiar this can reduced to zero.

Our research found that feedback is quicker compared to written feedback particularly in following circumstances where;

  • The Assessor is comfortable with the technology.
  • The dyslexic Assessor writes or types slowly but records his/her speech quickly.
  • A substantial amount of feedback is given.

How do students feel about it?

Our research and case studies have investigated the potential for successful screen capture feedback to be an improvement on written feedback in the perception of students and assessors.

Themes that have been mentioned throughout these case studies, that help define this improvement include:

  • Communicating on a more personal level - the tutors voice
  • The ability to present tone
  • Motivating students
  • Visually demonstrating and informing students how to improve
  • Forcing students to listen to all of the feedback, not selecting only the sections they desire
  • Providing a real alternative to ineligible handwriting
  • Richer feedback with the additional comments you don't have time to write, but can verbalize quickly
  • Directly highlighting which part of the submission the comment (often found written in the margins) is meant to address
  • Opportunities to reinforce learning, referring back to actual lecture notes/presentation files
  • Students listen and watch the message again and again

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