A substantial body of contemporary research provides evidence about the positive effects of assessment (Black et al. 2003; Black & Wiliam 1998; Harlen 2005a; Knight 2002; Hattie 1999). There is however little evidence regarding how technology impacts assessment practices and outcomes.
Screencasting software allows a tutor to record their computer screen with synchronised audio narration (Udell, 2005). This research explores the experiences of tutors and students in using either “traditional” electronic text (control group) or screencast feedback (innovation group). Use and impact of these methods is explored from two viewpoints.
Firstly differences in how assessment feedback is perceived and used by students is qualitatively explored via an examination of the impact of the feedback mechanism on student perceptions and subsequent actions.
Secondly, the production of assessment feedback is examined. The time efficiency of each method is analysed using tutor logs. The quantity of assessment feedback and the characteristics of assessment comments are judged via a quantitative analysis of coded tutor feedback comments.
Early results indicate that screencasting takes the same time to produce as traditional feedback. Screencasting alters the quantity of feedback – providing approximately twice as many informational points as traditional feedback. The nature of the feedback also changes, particularly in increasing dialogic feedback. Many students comparing screencasts with traditional feedback expressed a strong preference for the former. However the effects could be polarizing with some students having a strong negative emotional response to screencasting. Many students valued the quantity of detailed feedback, its sequential narrative of situated comments and the voice intonation cues it provided. Students felt that screencasts represented greater tutor effort, perhaps equated this with notions of care and empathy.
A reasonable working hypothesis is that the increased feedback information provided by screencasting coupled with an improvement in student perception of the feedback would lead to subsequent improvements in learning outcomes.
The session will provide examples of video screencasts and transcript vignettes. This interactive session will challenge participants to consider the impact of screencasting for their own practice and provide advice and guidance for getting started.
Black, P., Harrison, C. & Lee, C., (2003). Assessment for learning: Putting it into practice, Open Univ Pr.
Black, P. & Wiliam, D., (1998). Inside the black box. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), pp.139–148.
Harlen, W., (2005). Formative and summative assessment–a harmonious relationship? In England: Assessment Reform Group. ASF Seminar.
Hattie, J., (1999). Influences on student learning, Inaugural lecture. University of Auckland.
Knight, P.T., (2002). Summative assessment in higher education: practices in disarray. Studies in higher Education, 27(3), pp.275–286.
Udell, J., (2005). What Is Screencasting – O’Reilly Media. O’Reilly digitalmedia. Available at: http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/digitalmedia/2005/11/16/what-is-screencasting.html?page=1 [Accessed April 2, 2011].