Using video feedback to engage students with marking criteria

Clare Harris, Senior Teaching Fellow in Creativity and Design, and Alexandre Rodrigues, Lecturer in Product Design, explain how they implemented the use of screen recordings to enhance their feedback.

Clare has a background in design and extensive experience working in the creative industries. Her teaching primarily focuses on creative thinking, processes, and practices. Since 2016, she has been a part of the Product Design Team at the University of Sussex, where she teaches Drawing for Design, Experience Prototyping, Interaction Methods, and Toy and Game Design. Clare is also the module convenor for the Final Year Projects. Additionally, she has taught Design at the University of Southampton (Winchester School of Art), Brighton University, and the Open University. Clare lives in Hastings with her partner, her cat, Pywacket, and her dog, Moss. Her hobbies include pottery and border Morris dancing, and is proud to be a member of the Hastings Punk Choir.

Alexandre is a Lecturer in Product Design in the School of Engineering and Informatics, Department of Engineering and Design. He received his PhD from Nottingham Trent University in 2019. He is a Sussex Education Award winner. His research thesis in sustainable production and consumption contributes to understanding how the social facet of socio-technical transitions can help replace the car culture status quo and provide opportunities for nudge policy action using Cultural Theory and the Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour. His current educational interests are in using Virtual and Augmented Reality as tools for teaching and learning in Product Design. Alexandre is a SCITECH C-REC committee member.

What we did

We started to use video feedback for Final Year Project supervision with our Product Design students. When marking we create a screen recording as we go through the student’s Canvas submission, giving comments verbally and directing students to different areas of their work on the screen. Within Canvas you can click on the attached marking rubric which appears next to the assignment. You can then use this to structure your feedback, taking it section by section as your marking so the students are basically seeing what you see when you’re marking.

We really talk them through the process as we mark, in terms of what they did well, where they didn’t do quite so well. As you are screen recording you can also go back through the module’s Canvas site remind them of, for example, one of the Padlet exercises they’ve uploaded to week four. It just means that the feedback your giving becomes a lot clearer a lot quicker.

When compared to written feedback, video feedback is more nuanced to the individual submission and that student’s needs. It also allows for a greater degree of personalisation.

Why we did it

Initially, about three years ago, we shared a final year student who was neurodiverse and we had to try to be really explicit about what we expected of them and very clear, but obviously keeping a friendly tone. So we decided to experiment with video feedback for that and realised the benefits quite quickly.

It felt like you could say an awful lot more and were able to say it in a very nice, encouraging way. We could actually pinpoint bits of the submission that needed improvement, conveying a lot more information succinctly.

Moreover, if English is not your first language it can sometimes be a struggle to write the right feedback with the correct tone. It can be worrying thinking that your writing might be misinterpreted and perceived as being more negative than was intended. There is great benefit to being able to hear an encouraging or more positive tone.


Time is needed to have a look around and experiment with different tools. You want something that is going to be easy to use and to edit if needed. We use ScreenFlow and PowerPoint, but there are so many different tools available. Your School’s Learning Technologist will be able to help.

One key element to have in place is a detailed rubric/marking scheme beforehand. This will allow you to stay focused while you record and helps to maintains consistency across your cohort. Your School’s Academic Developer will be able to support you in creating or updating your marking schemes.

Impact and student feedback

We’ve had some really positive feedback from students. One thing that has happened is that students have responded to our feedback, they’ve actually said thank you for the feedback. Whereas normally your feedback goes out there and then that’s kind of it, it’s very much one way. Now there’s a dialogue between us and the students, they’re giving us feedback on feedback!

We’ve also noticed there’s less confusion around why students got a particular grade, or what they haven’t quite got right. As we are presenting their feedback alongside the criteria students seems to have a little better understanding of it. Now students are reading and engaging with the marking criteria ahead of their assessments.

Future plans

We intend to continue using video feedback across the different modules that we teach and to extend this to additional modules and assessment modes.

Top tips

  • Make sure that you have a rubric/marking scheme in place because that’s the thing that’s going to keep everything consistent, focused and fair.
  • Personalize your feedback, address the student by name and reference specific aspects of their work to show that you’ve engaged with their submission.
  • Use whatever software works best for you.
  • Keep it manageable, around 5-7 minutes, to maintain the student’s attention.
  • Speak calmly and keep it positive, the tone is really important.


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