Creating Formative and/or Summative Assessments with Video
“What if assessment could be fun and engaging for students? What if it didn’t feel like ‘testing’ at all?” asks Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad in an article on using video for formative assessments. Instead of assigning written homework or having students take a quiz, teachers can ask students to create videos that demonstrate their learning on a topic.
A video is a very flexible method for assessing student learning. A video report on a social studies topic, for example, can incorporate a thesis statement, research from a variety of primary and secondary sources, the development of a logical argument, and a conclusion. The project can be completed alone or in a group, creating a collaborative learning environment. Students will immediately see the results of their work and be encouraged to revise, deepening their learning and improving their performance on the assignment. In addition, they can watch other students’ videos on the assignment and see that a topic can be handled in more than one way and that different conclusions can be reached. Most important, making and watching videos is fun and student enthusiasm will show through in their effort on the task and in the quality of their work.
Richland School District Two created a case study on the use of video in the classroom. The district found that the skills they focus on building in their students—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity—are all involved in video production. This was why they sought to integrate video into the classroom. They were happy to discover that students who were afraid to talk in class could express themselves through a video and that many students were excited to share their videos with parents at home.
Dr. Lang-Raad suggests several benefits of video as an assessment tool:
- In a traditional assessment such as a quiz, a student assumes the teacher is looking for a “right” answer, making the teacher the leader in the learning process. With a video assessment, the onus is on the student to structure their assignment in a way that demonstrates their learning. The student is in charge.
- The open-ended aspect of a video encourages the student to generate more questions as their project progresses and to dig deeper into the subject matter they’re studying.
- Videos can incorporate online conversations with people in other parts of the world, providing a primary source for assignments on topics covering a different geographic area or culture.
- Videos are cool and easily shareable. This leads to a sense of satisfaction with the end product that is greater than that from finishing a written homework assignment or a test.