Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hangout with Formative Feedback - A personal youtube video for feedback

For those teachers in Ontario, you are well aware of the Growing Success document that was published in 2010 and is the guide for how assessment and evaluation is implemented in our schools. Having taught overseas for my first years as a teacher, I came back to Ontario in 2011  lucky to learn the document and participate in PD at the same time as my colleagues. Here is a summary of the 7 fundamental principals.

7 fundamental principals

This year my goal was to develop the last principal. I wrote about my experience and process in my previous post  and also the experience of the 13 year old student driving there education. The one challenge that I had with this last principal what how the students were using the diagnostics, formative check ins, class conversations activities to identify their needs. I found that my written feedback was not having as great an impact for the amount of time and effort I was putting into the work.

My goal was to have the students think through the feedback that I had given them and develop an internal conversation about how they could improve. A teacher friend of mine told me that she would highlight areas on student work and ask them to think about why she had done so, causing them to reflect on their own work. I liked her suggestion and wanted to do the same thing with my students. My challenge was that I was hoping to give differentiated feedback, asking students to revisit key concepts, but also to challenge other students to show their thinking or show them new ways to communicate their ideas. So I decided to make marks on their work, but follow it up with a guiding conversation afterwards... for each student. One on one conversations are not possible in class, so I decided to video tape my feedback to the students. But with limited computer space to save so many files and a challenge to share them, I looked for options on the internet where I came across Google hangouts and Youtube streaming.

The solution is a personal video, recorded directly on youtube and sent as a private link to my student to watch, comment and use for their feedback. It was a one step process from recording the video to sending a link automatically to my students without any uploading or fancy editing. Here is how I did it:

  1. Add Google Hangouts to your chrome apps
  2. Open a new hangout, name it and ensure that you also say that it is a private video.
  3. Record the video
  4. Send the link of the private video to your student
  5. Track the "views" to see if your student was able to watch it. Also you can set up the comments to create a private conversation to talk about the video. 
The feedback I got from my students was great. They said that they enjoyed the private feedback, and by watching it they were able to think through what I was saying more compared to when they read it. Also, they knew exactly where the feedback was so that they could view it again before they did a final assessment that affected their grades.

My goal is to continue this next year. It took a lot of time, but the payback was great. I also plan on asking the students to do their own videos and save them to their online portfolios. This way they can talk about their own process of learning and their own next steps.

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