By Soroush Sabbaghan
Senior Instructor in the International Foundations Program
As an undergraduate student and for the better part of my graduate studies, I never really felt engaged with the feedback I received in my courses. I don’t think I ever considered them as a satisfying aspect of my student experiences. At the time, almost all assessment was summative and even when I received feedback, it usually consisted of few cryptic phrases offering the instructor’s general view of my performance.
When I chose to be a teacher, I tasked myself with finding a method of providing feedback that are useful for students. I’ve been working on this since 2011, and I have researched and used different ways to provide feedback. Veedbacks are the culmination of all that effort.
Before I begin to talk about what veedbacks are, I’d like to outline what I perceive to be qualities of useful feedback. I think one of the most important characteristics of useful feedback is student engagement. In other words, I believe feedback needs to be salient enough for students to implement in their practices. Second, useful feedback should allow for continuous and autonomous learning. In other words, it should have an impact on immediate academic practices and hopefully future professional practices. Finally, feedback needs to be individualized, that is, it needs to be created for a person at a specific time for a specific task. This is important because when feedback is individualized – at least in my experience – it allows students to notice what’s important or critical in their assignments.
Simply put, veedbacks are the use of video as the medium for providing feedback. At first, I thought I had coined the term. However, upon further research, I learned that the term was first used by Thompson and Lee (2012). I do not consider veedbacks as just another medium of providing feedback. Turner and West (2013) suggest that using veedbacks offers a better understanding of student capabilities both the student attitude instructor. This speaks to the individualized characteristics of useful feedback. It also stimulates recall and triggers noticing of things that the instructor doesn’t really point out but the students see nonetheless (Sabbaghan, 2013). This speaks to the engagement characteristic of useful feedback. Finally, when compared to written comments, student employ feedback given in videos more often and even after the course (Thompson & Lee, 2012). This speaks to the continuous and autonomous learning characteristic of useful feedback.
I now invite you to watch the following video, which outlines how to make them, offers a demonstration, and provides examples of student feedback.
In my experience, most students favour veedbacks. However, since most of them had received this form of feedback for the first time, their strong preference may be due to novelty factors. Having said that, student responses as well as comments I have received on the combination of auditory and visual modalities support other studies suggesting that veedback serve as a better vehicle for in-depth explanation to other mono-modal feedback. The live annotations coupled with spoken commentary harmonized with the explanation of where and why marks are allocated likely provide a greater depth of explanatory feedback that may be required to engage students. Veedback may therefore be an effective means of increasing student engagement and exposing them to a more detailed explanation than they would have normally received with only written commentary.
Sabbaghan, S. (2013). How noticing is affected by replay of writing process during stimulated recall. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 83, 629-633.
Thompson, R., & Lee, M. J. (2012). Talking with students through screencasting: Experimentations with video feedback to improve student learning. The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, 1(1).
Turner, W., & West, J. (2013). Assessment for” Digital First Language” Speakers: Online Video Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 25(3), 288-296.