This session will illustrate how implementing a new technology enhanced feedback strategy may change student engagement with the feedback process. Many HE institutions are exploring, and indeed investing in, how Technology Enhanced Learning can improve the student learning experience (JISC 2017). Northumbria University, Newcastle (UK) is no exception. Within Northumbria, educators are strongly encouraged to accept electronic submission of assignments, and then to mark electronically, adding written comments, feeding back electronically, and in a timely manner.
This student experiment involves Level 4 Distance Learning students studying a Personal Development and Professional Competence module, within a Leadership and Management programme. Students are participating from various locations across the UK and Europe.
The summative assessment for this module requires each student to create a 10-minute Panopto (2018) presentation video of themselves highlighting the main points of their individual Personal Development Plan (PDP). This technology solution was chosen, as the operational logistics for arranging multiple face-to-face Skype presentations with distance learning students can be very difficult. This gave students the opportunity to rehearse and record their video presentation at their own pace, in a space that they are comfortable. Students were provided with guidance and support regarding how to engage with the technological requirements, and a formative exercise helps students to familiarise themselves with the software, before submitting their final summative assessment. The tutors had continued support from an internal TEL advisor, to try and help avoid technological glitches!
The teaching team decided to experiment even further, by replacing written feedback with 3-minute video feedback, using the same Panopto software in which the students have used. Previous research (Carruthers et al 2015, Deeley 2018, McCarthy 2015) has shown that audio/video feedback can help to personalise the assessment feedback experience. It was decided that the actual assessment mark will not be provided to the student until the end of the feedback recording, which means that each student will have to watch and digest all their feedback, before receiving their final mark.
Student and staff views will be gathered after the assessment process has been completed. A great feature of the Panopto software is the ability to monitor how much of the tutor feedback recording a student does actually watch, so we can analyse whether students actually watch the whole video feedback, or quickly fast-forwarded to their final assessment mark.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
This experiment is currently “live” at the point of submitting this session overview. We aim to have completed the experiment by the end of June 2018. This is also a relatively small case study with only 18 participants, so the forthcoming results cannot be generalised, however, we are hoping to receive some interesting learning points from this experiment, from both a learners, and an educator’s perspective.
It is anticipated that we will trial this innovative assessment feedback style with on-campus student cohorts too, to further investigate how they engage with video feedback too. However, this will not commence until September 2018.
There are further implications for considering further adoption, ie, can other interested stakeholders use the software for quality assurance purposes, eg, internal staff moderators, and even external examiners? We hope to have this feedback available by July 2018.
Also, by adopting this feedback style, we must be mindful of hearing and/or visually impaired students, and an alternative plan in place for these students.
An interesting aspect of this experiment which could be explored further is, does this increase a student’s understanding of the National Student Survey question – “I have received helpful comments on my work” – as each student has to watch all available feedback comments, digest their individual feedforward content, before eventually receiving their mark at the end of the video feedback!
Carruthers, C., McCarron, B., Bolan, P., Devine, A., McMahon-Beattie, U., Burns, A. (2015) ‘I like the sound of that’ – an evaluation of providing audio feedback via the virtual learning envviornment for summative assessment, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40:3, pp352-370
Deeley, S. (2018) Using technology to facilitate effective assessment for learning and feedback in higher education, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43:3, pp439-448.
JISC (2017) Time to act: UK universities will be overtaken unless they embrace new technology [online] Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/time-to-act-uk-universities-will-be-overtaken-unless-they-embrace-new-technology-02-feb-2017 [Accessed 22/03/18]
McCarthy, J. (2015) Evaluating written, audio and video feedback in higher education summative assessment tasks, Issues in Educational Research, 25:2, pp153-169.
Panopto (2018) Home page [online] Available at: https://www.panopto.com/. [Accessed 22/03/18]
Resources for participants