Video Learning Best Practices: Doing Assessments
The last in a series of three, this post looks at how instructors can use video-based assessment.
Video is a great learning tool. Whether it’s presentations, collaboration, lectures, or soft skills assessment, video can help keep learners engaged and entertained throughout their online courses. This post, the last in a series examining best practices for video production, instructional design and assessment, looks at how instructors can make the most of video-based assessment.
Video-based assessment shifts the focus away from “telling” towards “showing.” It allows learners to demonstrate what they know rather than simply reiterating what they’ve read.
How to use video-based assessment
Video assessment can be useful for any type of course or program, but how you use it might differ depending on the skills you’re trying to assess.
Soft skills have traditionally been difficult to assess in online courses, which often rely heavily on multiple-choice questions and written assignments instead of face-to-face interactions. But, with increasing improvements to how video is recorded and published online, video-based assessment has become a real possibility for instructors.
Certain fields require good communication skills and teamwork, for example:
- Sales training: assessing how well a rep understands and responds to questions.
- Business courses: evaluating presentations, communication skills and teamwork.
- Professional development: seeing how a teacher carries themselves in a classroom setting, and providing constructive feedback.
- Any other profession that requires connecting with other people, such as social work, consulting, counselling, or healthcare.
In those cases, learners can record themselves delivering a presentation or performing in a roleplaying scenario, and submit it for assessment. Instructors can then evaluate how learners speak, their body language, and how they respond to questions.
Even outside of these fields, it’s difficult to find programs that don’t have “better communication” as a desired outcome. For example, the Computer Engineering program at Penn State Behrend includes “ability to communicate effectively” among its program outcomes.
In hard science or technical fields, understanding the learner’s thought process is crucial – seeing how a learner arrived at a result is often as important as the result itself.
In those cases, learners can record their coding or calculations from start to finish, and instructors and peers can provide feedback to help them identify where they can improve their process.
New courses online
Video assessment can also allow for entirely new types of courses online. For example, it used to be difficult to teach new languages online. Now it’s possible to evaluate a learner’s pronunciation, accent, and tone of voice online, and simulate conversations that allow them to actually practice their language skills.
How to create video-based assessments
Once you’ve decided that video-based assessment is right for your learners, you need to think about how they can record and submit their videos.
Ideally, your organization uses a learning platform with an integrated video assessment solution that allows learners to record, upload, and submit their assignments without ever having to leave the learning environment.
If you’re considering a solution outside of your learning platform, you’ll want to think about how learners will actually record and upload their assignments. Although there are lots of video platforms to choose from, the key consideration should be the degree of effort required to make it work well for your learners. Will they record them separately and upload them to a video sharing site? Will they upload external video files into your learning platform? And who will handle support and training for users who have problems?
How to provide feedback
Finally, you’ll want to consider how you’ll grade and provide feedback on assignments.
A video assessment solution should support different grading methods, whether pass/fail, numerical, or rubric-based. The latter is especially helpful for significant assignments, as rubrics help learners clearly understand what is expected of them, and define the categories of evaluation.
Feedback is just as important as grading, and video-based assessment offers new methods of providing it. Time-stamped commenting, for instance, allows for feedback to be delivered at specific points in a presentation.
Opening up evaluations to peer review can benefit all learners. Presenters get more constructive feedback than if evaluated only by a single person, and peers learn by example.
For more, check out these seven benefits of video-based assessment.