Friday, 3 June 2016

Approach to providing feedback using screen capture, by Ella Tennant

The approach taken and why
I decided to use screen capture software to provide feedback on assessed work to two groups of International students on English for Academic Purposes modules. I felt that providing online audio/video feedback for work on English Language modules would increase student satisfaction and make the assessment and feedback process more effective overall. It would also enable students to understand the process of using a Turnitin Dropbox (TAD) and provide an extra support to students still struggling with the concept of originality in their work.

Work is submitted and marked using Grademark, according to predetermined criteria. The Grademark “labels” are colour-coded. Using screen capture, I talk through the comments, as I scroll through the document, highlighting particular areas or concerns. This recording is saved as an MP4 file and attached to the Grade Centre submission page for the student. Students are able to see their grade, the feedback and the MP4 file.

The students were very enthusiastic about the feedback format and in general found it encouraging. At the end of the semester, they were asked to complete a survey.

Benefits of the approach for you and the students
The software, Snagit is very easy to set up and use. I am able to personalise the feedback and I feel there is more opportunity to give more complete feedback than if I am writing. I can make encouraging comments, suggestions from the general to the specific and provide pointers for future improvement. Even with Quickmark comments, the process seems to be less time-consuming than when giving full written feedback. The fact that the document with my comments is “captured” the student can see the part of the text I am highlighting as I talk.

Feedback from the students was very positive. Comments emphasised that it was like having a one to one tutorial, it was easy to follow, and they could clearly see how to improve on their mistakes and so on. 100% of respondents agreed that they found the screen cast feedback very helpful. 87% of respondents agreed that it was motivating to hear the tutor discussing the work and 93% said they listened to the recorded feedback rather than just look at the grade. 87% answered that they preferred audio/video feedback to traditional written feedback.

Any unexpected outcomes or ways you would change your approach next time

Although a degree of written feedback was provided using Quickmark comments, I was surprised that some students (67%) commented that they would still prefer to have fuller written feedback on their work combined with screen-cast feedback.

The main drawback is that the software licence is limited to a specific computer, but I now also have this for my own computer which enables me to also catch up on marking from home. However, uploading the MP4 files to the Grade Centre page is a slow process when not using the Keele network.

Key recommendations
If you were talking to a colleague about the approach what would be the key things you would tell them to help them get the most from your approach

This short study convinced me that the use of technology to provide feedback has an overall positive effect on learning and teaching. I continue to use this approach and offer some suggestions to those considering adopting this:
  • Use a good microphone: I have a Snowball which works well
  • Be systematic in providing feedback, concentrating on areas in order according to the marking criteria
  • Always check that the file is saved and has uploaded
  • Explain clearly to students, with a demonstration, as to how they can access the feedback and check that they have been able to do so
  • Proficiency in providing clear, concise and helpful feedback does improve with practice.

Creative Commons License
Approach to providing feedback using screen capture by Ella Tennant, Keele University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.