Last year I switched to a gradeless classroom, and one of my goals was to give students detailed feedback on their errors to help them better understand the material. Unfortunately, my detailed feedback did not help all of my students. I found that there were some that did not understand my written feedback, but when I worked with them one-on-one and talked through the feedback, they were then able to make sense of their errors.  

In May of 2018, I came across the article Has Video Killed the Red Grading Pen by Daisy Yuhas on the Hechinger Report. This article talked about teachers recording a video of themselves giving written and verbal feedback to students on their work. I realized this is what I needed to do to help my students better understand my feedback.

In the summer, I searched YouTube to find a video that would show me how to build a stand for my iPad so that I could record the students’ paper and my voice while giving feedback.  I actually built two stands, one for home and one for school, and I was ready to go at the beginning of this school year.

Andrew B

At the end of September, I gave my first assessment, and I was excited to record the videos.  As expected, it took longer to record a video giving written and verbal feedback than it would have if I was just simply writing the feedback on the students’ papers, but I was hopeful that the extra work would pay off with better student understanding.

The following day at school, I signed out my school’s computer cart, and I had students bring their earbuds to class.  The students watched the videos on an online portfolio site called Seesaw.  Last year and again this year, I am using Seesaw to keep track of students’ assessments and self-assessments, and I am now taking advantage of the feature to upload videos to each student’s portfolio.

As I had hoped, the videos were a huge success!  I watched as some students stopped their videos and rewatched sections where they had made mistakes while others rewatched the entire video a few times.  After watching the video, students were given the opportunity to retake a similar assessment (retakes are an important part of my class). The results of the retakes showed that the majority of my students were able to use the videos to build a stronger understanding of the material.

The feedback from the students has been very positive.  The most often heard comment was that it helped them better understand the mistakes they had made.  I spoke with a parent of one of my students who said that her daughter could easily explain to her what she did incorrectly after watching the video. The extra time was well worth it, and I am looking forward to learning more about how this type of feedback affects student learning and understanding over the course of the school year.

4 Comments

  1. I tried this out last year and had a similar experience! Students really like the video feedback. I haven’t done it enough since then…probably because I haven’t been intentional about making it a habit. You’ve inspired me to jump back in. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is powerful. Do you still follow up with a face to face conference? Would you ever consider doing this live while recording at the same time? I am wondering how many students you have and how long this takes. I now teach ELA in middle school and think this would be a powerful tool for editing student writing. I have used the comment feature on Google Docs, but love the idea of recording it live as students don’t always understand my reasoning and suggestions.

    Seesaw is also a great tool that we utilize as well. Great connection and a different way to look at how to use it. Thanks for sharing your process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I still conference with all students face-to-face but it is to talk about their self-assessment. If students still do not understand their mistakes I work with them one-on-one but the video has minimized the amount of students that need the one-on-one help. It takes between 3 and 6 minutes per video to record and save to Seesaw. I have 80 students this year so it takes me between 4 and 5 hours total to complete for all of my students.

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  3. Andrew, you KNOW I love this approach. I love seeing it with math! When I used the iPad for video feedback, I took pics first – I like your way even better. (My post: http://geniushour.blogspot.com/2016/01/using-explain-everything-to-give.html) I also love the stand you created – I use an old locker shelf, and sometimes the sides get in the way. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m excited to think of the teachers who will now try out video feedback because of your post!!

    Liked by 1 person

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