In this blog post, I will explore the potential and possibilities for assessing students’ presentation skills through the medium of video.
With the affordances of modern technology, the possibilities for students to create video presentations are now much more accessible. Most new computers, mobile phones and tablets include both a camera and a microphone which can be used to record talking-head style videos. There are an abundance of free to use animation, screen recording, multimedia presentation and video editing tools available on the web which are aimed at presenters (not multimedia professionals) and produce high-quality video presentations.
Much like face-to-face presentations, video presentations can be completed individually or as a group project and are typically given a time limit instead of a word count. A typical assignment might involve the following steps.
- Tutor sets an assignment brief and assessment criteria.
- Students research a topic and produce an idea or argument for their presentation.
- Students produce a script, storyboard or plan to distil and clearly communicate the ideas within a set time frame.
- Students record to camera or use specialised presentation software to compose mixed media and create a visual representation to communicate the idea.
- Students submit their work online through the online study platform
- Tutors watch the recordings online and provide marks and feedback using the online study platform
What are the benefits of video presentations?
Whether asking students to record talking-head presentations or create mixed media presentation videos, there are a number of benefits which come from video presentations which build on the skills required for traditional face-to-face presentations.
- Reflection: students can reflect on their presentation skills and refine their work by recording, watching and revising their performance.
- Feedback: students can view their own work and review it alongside tutor feedback to gain a deeper understanding of how they performed and how to improve.
- Efficiency: presentations can be completed outside of class time and shared easily online with tutors and other students enabling more opportunity for practice and feedback. Room bookings and coordination of presentation times are not necessary.
- Perspective: students can be encouraged to express ideas and concepts using mixed visual and audio media to enable new and different means of exploring a topic.
- Digital literacy: students get an opportunity to develop new IT skills and competencies using modern means of communication.
What are some of the tools and technologies available?
I have recently been exploring various technologies with the School of Business for use in video presentations. Recommendations for what to use have varied between different use cases and learning objectives. Here are a few of the many apps and software out there that we have looked at.
- Screencastify can record your computer screen, microphone and/or webcam. This can produce similar results to a lecture recording video or a talking-head video but from your personal computer. It is a simple and easy to use tool which includes basic editing, allows you to record up to 10 mins per video with longer times and more advanced editing available through a paid subscription.
- Adobe Spark uses templates, stock images and motion video from the Adobe library and your own content and narration to produce mixed-media presentations. This tool makes complex design and production tasks easy to achieve with great results. It’s also completely free to use.
- VideoScribe lets you compose your ideas on a whiteboard using clip art or your own images, voice-overs and text; the software will then turn it into a whiteboard drawing animation video. Videoscribe offer a free 7 day trial of their software, longer use requires a paid subscription.
- Adobe Clip is a simple video editing app for smartphones and tablets that students can use to edit and combine recordings, clips and images from their mobile device and add title slides, voice-overs and text. This is another free app from Adobe
How to manage the assessment?
Canvas, the University of Sussex online study platform, includes a range of tools for creating and managing assessments. The assignment tool includes the option to enable ‘Media Recordings’ as submissions which mean that students can upload video files which they have created using presentation software, or they can record a video for submission directly from their webcam, microphone or mobile device.
Further options will allow students to produce group submissions, or for tutors to manage peer-review-assignments so that submissions can be allocated to other students to review and provide feedback.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more specific advice on any of the topics mentioned in this post and support with integrating the use of technology into your assessments.