Technology mediated assessment feedback

Technology mediated assessment feedback

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Welcome to the Learning with New Media project exploring the use of technology in providing assessment feedback to students. In the above sections we explain how to use technology for feedback, what to include, why this approach has been proven to be effective, and link you to resources to get started. We hope you find this site useful in using technology in your student feedback.


 

Overview of feedback using technology
Associate Professor Michael Henderson and Dr Michael Phillips provide an overview of using technology to create assessment feedback

 

The provision of assessment feedback is a vital component of the learning process. It allows students to receive individualised information that can help them reach their learning goals.

The process of using technologies to create assessment feedback (also known as multi-modal feedback) can be an efficient and user-friendly alternative to written comments or face-to-face discussions. Assessment feedback created using technologies may enable educators to provide detailed, impactful, and purposeful recommendations to students.

Compared to written comments on assignments, students report that assessment feedback created using technologies can be:

More detailed
Less ambiguous
More individualised
More satisfying
Able to foster feelings of connectedness
Student perspectives of technology mediated feedback
Caitilin and Shanae discuss technology mediated feedback from a student’s perspective

 

Advice for educators
Students and educators offer advice on delivering technology mediated feedback

 

How do you actually create feedback using assessment technologies? Luckily it’s not difficult: we’ve had many reports that educators found it easier than writing formal feedback! Below we explore the methods and tools available to educators.


 

Getting started

When using technologies to create assessment feedback, it is important to select a medium that is:

Time efficient
Effective
Suitable to your teaching style
Appropriate for your students

 

Ideally, assessment feedback created using technologies should be:

Unscripted and unedited
Recorded in a quiet location
Recorded during, or soon after, viewing each assessment task
Produced using cost-effective and readily available hardware and software
Structured to produce the greatest impact
Kept to a manageable size (approximately 5 minutes)
Able to be uploaded to a Virtual Learning Environment (e.g. Moodle, Blackboard)
Creating feedback using technology

Educators Dr. Ian Larson and Nora Vitins discuss how they created technology mediated feedback

 

Processes to create feedback using technology

Associate Professor Michael Henderson discusses the processes involved in creating feedback using technologies

Fear of technology

Educator Nora Vitins discusses overcoming fear of technology and the ease of creating technology mediated feedback

There are various technologies that can be used to provide assessment feedback, such as audio recordings, video recordings, screencasting and inking. Click below for more information on these modalities.

Audio Recordings

Using only the voice, audio recordings are a fast and easy medium for producing and sending assessment feedback. Audio recordings can provide a more personalised experience for students by allowing educators to verbally convey tone and warmth.

The following software can be used to create audio recordings:

Audacity
SoundCloud
Apps for tablets and smartphones

 

Please play the video to the right for more detailed information about how to create an audio recording.

Associate Professor Michael Henderson explains how to create an audio recording

Video Recordings

Video recordings enable educators to communicate with students both verbally and nonverbally (through gestures and facial expressions). To maximise this effect, it is a good idea to focus the camera on the head and shoulders, but allow enough space to capture hand gestures.

Video recordings can be created using:

MovieMaker
iMovie
Webcam software
Apps for your tablet or smartphone

 

Please play the video to the right for more detailed information about how to create a video recording.

Dr Michael Phillips explains how to create a video recording

Screencasts

Screencasts allow educators to provide verbal feedback while visually showing the students work. It is also possible to use a split screen approach that simultaneously displays both the educators face and the students work.

Screencasts can be produced using:

TinyTake
Jing
ScreenFlow
Adobe Presenter
Explain Everything
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

 

Please play the video to the right for more detailed information about how to create a screencast.

Dr Michael Phillips explains how to create a screencast

Inking

Digital inking is an emerging feedback practice that involves the use of a digital pen or stylus to make handwritten notes or informal sketches on electronic documents.

Inking provides an intuitive alternative to typed annotations, as it mirrors the process of writing comments by hand. However, digital inking has the same limitations as handwritten comments, such as illegibility and limited space to provide detailed information. Due to this, we suggest that inking is best used in conjunction with a screencast, so that students can see the marked up areas of their work while the assessor provides verbal feedback. This helps students make connections between the assessor’s comments and the relevant sections of their work.

To mark up the document the following hardware can be used:

Stylus and touchscreen device (e.g. tablet)
Digital pen and interactive drawing pad (e.g., Wacom)

 

Software used for inking includes:

Microsoft Word
Microsoft OneNote

 

To create the recordings, we recommend using screencasting software. The screencasting section above provides more details, but examples include:

Adobe Presenter
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

 

The video below provides an short example of how inking is used by lecturers within the Department of Pharmacology. At first, they read through the assessment task, and ink the document with handwritten comments and/or diagrams. After this, they create a screencast in which they scroll through the student’s work, talking them through the inked annotations. They also use a highlighting tool to demonstrate which part of the inking or student’s work they are speaking about.

A real example of student feedback using inking and screencasting

Tips for using inking

Practice using the digital pen or stylus before creating the recording, as it can be tricky to use at first.
When handwriting comments with the digital pen or style, ensure that they are legible to avoid ambiguity or confusion.
There is no need to discuss all inked comments in the recording, as students will receive the marked up version of their assessment tasks back.
Limit screencasts to less than 5 minutes and just focus on a few key issues and achievements.
Keep your workflow as sustainable as possible by making brief annotations with the digital pen or stylus prior to recording, and then simply highlight key issues and achievements during the recording.

What do we need to include in our technology assisted feedback? Below we explore a design to work with to structure your feedback to ensure it provides the greatest benefit.


 

Regardless of which technologies are used, the structure of the recording can remain the same. In general, the elements shown below are recommended. For more information download a printable version with more detail and examples.

 Structural Elements of Feedback Recordings

Advice for structuring recordings

When using technology to record assessment feedback, it is not necessary to examine every element of the students’ work. Instead, aim to provide constructive comments that will strengthen students’ understanding of the field and their future assessment tasks. The videos below contain examples and tips for how to structure recordings.

Structuring technology mediated feedback

Educators Dr. Ian Larson and Nora Vitins discuss the structure they followed when creating technology mediated feedback

Considerations of technology based feedback

Associate Professor Michael Henderson and Dr Michael Phillips discuss considerations for technology mediated feedback

 

Technology based feedback structure

Associate Professor Michael Henderson explains how to structure assessment feedback using technology

Real feedback examples

Associate Professor Michael Henderson and Dr Michael Phillips provide real examples of each structural element

Structuring a dialogic approach

In order to succeed in their learning, students need to make judgments about the quality of their own work. Furthermore, unless students are given the chance to clarify misconceptions, and ask questions about their assessor’s comments, they are potentially limited in what they can improve or change. To address this, educators can provide students with opportunities to seek, give, receive, and act on feedback.

One way to do this is to use a dialogic approach to feedback, which involves students and teachers engaging in a sequence of interactions that:

Help clarify misconceptions,
Calibrate the student’s judgment, and;
Enhance evaluative reasoning

 

These interaction can take place via:

Face to face discussions
Email
Discussion boards
Digital recordings

 

Digital feedback recordings may provide a sustainable option when implementing a dialogic approach to feedback, particularly in units that are delivered online.

 

Excerpts of videos showing a dialogical feedback approach

Using technology to provide assessment feedback has many benefits for both students and educators. Below we explore how use of technology enables educators to implement the principles of effective feedback.


 

Impact on students
Educator Nora Vitins discusses the impact of technology mediated feedback on her students
Benefits of technology mediated feedback
Educator Nora Vitins discusses the benefits of technology mediated feedback

 

Research indicates that there are eight principles of effective assessment feedback. Trying to meet these principles using only text-based feedback can be complicated and time-consuming, particularly in large class contexts. However, using technologies to create assessment feedback may assist educators in doing so.

Eight Principles of Effective Assessment Feedback
1 Be timely
Provide feedback in time to assist students in future assessment tasks
2 Be clear
Use unambiguous and specific language. Avoid broad phrases such as ‘great effort’ or ‘bad grammar’.
3 Be educative
Make constructive suggestions for how work can be improved or strengthened
4 Be proportionate to criteria
Focus primarily on the goals of the assessment task
5 Locate student performance
Assess how students performed in relation to the goals of the task, what they did well and not so well, and what they should work on in the future
6 Emphasise task performance
Provide guidance on the processes and metacognition demonstrated by the student
7 Start a dialogue
Further develop the student’s skills by extending an invitation for further discussion
8 Be sensitive to the individual
Encourage positive self-esteem and motivation

 

Principles of effective feedback
Associate Professor Michael Henderson describes the principles of effective feedback
Technology based feedback research
Associate Professor Michael Henderson discusses research relating to assessment feedback using technologies

Below we have linked resources for you to learn more about creating assessment feedback using technology. More will be added over time.


Quick Reference Guides

Click on the links below to download:

Structuring your feedback
The eight principles of effective feedback

Peer-reviewed Research

Our Research

Henderson, M. & Phillips, M. (2014). Technology Enhanced Feedback on Assessment. Paper presented at ACEC2014. Adelaide, Australia. Download here.
Henderson, M. & Phillips, M. (2015). Video-based feedback on student assessment: scarily personal. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 61(1),  51-66. Download here.
Phillips, M. Henderson, M., & Ryan, T. (2016). Multimodal feedback is not always clearer, more useful or satisfying. In S. Barker, S. Dawson, A. Pardo, & C. Colvin (Eds.), Show Me The Learning. Proceedings ASCILITE 2016 Adelaide,  514-522. Download here.
Ryan, T., Henderson, M., & Phillips, M. (2016). “Written feedback doesn’t make sense”: Enhancing assessment feedback using technologies. Paper presented AARE2016. Melbourne, Australia. Download here.

 

Research from Others

Anson, I. G. (2015). Assessment Feedback using Screencapture Technology in Political Science. Journal of Political Science Education, 11(4), 375-390. doi:10.1080/15512169.2015.1063433
Borup, J., West, R. E., & Thomas, R. (2015). The impact of text versus video communication on instructor feedback in blended courses. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(2), 161-184.
Bourgault, A. M., Mundy, C., & Joshua, T. (2013). Comparison of Audio vs. Written Feedback on Clinical Assignments of Nursing Students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 34(1), 43-46. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-34.1.43
Carruthers, C., McCarron, B., Bolan, P., Devine, A., McMahon-Beattie, U., & Burns, A. (2015). ‘I like the sound of that’ – an evaluation of providing audio feedback via the virtual learning environment for summative assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(3), 352-370. doi:10.1080/02602938.2014.917145
Cavanaugh, A. J., & Song, L. (2014). Audio Feedback versus Written Feedback: Instructors’ and Students’ Perspectives. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 122-n/a.
Chew, E. (2014). “To listen or to read?” Audio or written assessment feedback for international students in the UK. On the Horizon, 22(2), 127-135. doi:10.1108/oth-07-2013-0026
Denton, D. W. (2014). Using screen capture feedback to improve academic performance. TechTrends, 58(6), 51-56.
Elola, I., & Oskoz, A. (2016). Supporting Second Language Writing Using Multimodal Feedback. Foreign Language Annals, 49(1), 58-74. doi:10.1111/flan.12183
Fawcett, H., & Oldfield, J. (2016). Investigating expectations and experiences of audio and written assignment feedback in first-year undergraduate students. Teaching in Higher Education, 21(1), 79-93.
Gould, J., & Day, P. (2013). Hearing you loud and clear: student perspectives of audio feedback in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(5), 554-566. doi:10.1080/02602938.2012.660131
Hung, S.-T. A. (2016). Enhancing feedback provision through multimodal video technology. Computers & Education, 98, 90-101.
Johnson, G., M, & Cooke, A. (2016). Self-regulation of learning and preference for written versus audio-recorded feedback by distance education students. Distance Education, 37(1), 107-120. doi:10.1080/01587919.2015.1081737
Jones, N., Georghiades, P., & Gunson, J. (2012). Student feedback via screen capture digital video: stimulating student’s modified action. Higher Education, 64(5), 593-607. doi:10.1007/s10734-012-9514-7
Knauf, H. (2016). Reading, listening and feeling: audio feedback as a component of an inclusive learning culture at universities. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(3), 442-449. doi:10.1080/02602938.2015.1021664
Mathieson, K. (2012). Exploring Student Perceptions of Audiovisual Feedback via Screencasting in Online Courses. American Journal of Distance Education, 26(3), 143-156. doi:10.1080/08923647.2012.689166
McCarthy, J. (2015). Evaluating Written, Audio and Video Feedback in Higher Education Summative Assessment Tasks. Issues in Educational Research, 25(2), 153-169.
Moore, C., & Wallace, I. P. H. (2012). Personalizing Feedback for Feed-Forward Opportunities Utilizing Audio Feedback Technologies for Online Students. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 2(1), 6.
Morris, C., & Chikwa, G. (2016). Audio versus written feedback: Exploring learners’ preference and the impact of feedback format on students’ academic performance. Active Learning in Higher Education, 17, 125-137.
Munro, W., & Hollingworth, L. (2014). Audio feedback to physiotherapy students for viva voce: how effective is ‘the living voice’? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(7), 865-878. doi:10.1080/02602938.2013.873387
Orlando, J. (2016). A Comparison of Text, Voice, and Screencasting Feedback to Online Students. American Journal of Distance Education, 30(3), 156-166. doi:10.1080/08923647.2016.1187472
Portolese Dias, L., & Trumpy, R. (2014). Online Instructor’s Use of Audio Feedback to Increase Social Presence and Student Satisfaction. Journal of Educators Online, 11(2), 19.
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.
West, J., & Turner, W. (2016). Enhancing the assessment experience: improving student perceptions, engagement and understanding using online video feedback. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53(4), 400 – 410.

Presentations

Monash Law Faculty (August, 2015).
CRADLE, Deakin University, “Scarily personal: assessment feedback via video, audio, and screencast technologies” (May, 2015)
Monash Education Academy, Learning Lunch Box, “Video assessment feedback: simple, fast and effective” (May, 2015)
Educational Computing Association of Western Australia (ECAWA) 2015 State Conference, “Using digital technology to provide powerful assessment feedback“, 2015
Deakin University School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences February, 2015
University of Sydney Faculties of Business, IT and Engineering, February 2015
Avila Secondary College, 2014
ICT in Education Victoria Conference 2013: http://ictev.vic.edu.au/proposal/6743/multimedia-feedback-students-free-easy-and-enjoyable
Monash Educational Excellence Research Group 2013
Monash Gippsland Faculty Day 2013
Monash Faculty of Education – Innovation series 2012
Australian Computers in Education Conference 2012: http://acec2012.acce.edu.au/video-feedback-student-assessment-scarily-personal-powerfully-clear

Media

Kolowich, S. (26 January, 2015). Could Video Feedback Replace the Red Pen? The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Anon. (27 January, 2015). Filmer tilbakemeldinger: Faglærere ved australsk universitet gir hver enkelt student tilbakemeldinger i form av filmsnutterUniversitetsavisa.
Maiolo, A. (19 January, 2015). Video gives valuable feedback [Podcast]. Campus Review.
Maiolo, A. (19 January, 2015). Video gives valuable feedback [Podcast]. Education Review. Same name as the one above but this is a different interview – this time focusing on our ongoing research in schools.
Ross, J. (14 Jan, 2015). Video critiques work for tutors and students. The Australian, p. 28.  [links: The AustralianPDF available]
A rather cheeky news article published in Monash News: Snapchat-style teacher-to-student feedback gets thumbs up
Hosking, W. (25 April, 2014). Visionary feedback: Teachers ‘mark’ essays with videos to students. Herald Sun p.18.
Our work with teachers at Avila College featured on Channel 7 News (Broadcast 07/04/2014, 6pm)
Interviewed by Today’s Schools for Channel 31
Our work with University Students (broadcast 28/03/14, 6pm) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18cVKli7jMg
Our work with the fantastic teachers and students at Avila College  (broadcast 02/05/14, 6pm) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XxL8cZp1eg

Contact the research team

If you would like to get in touch with us, please email michael.henderson@monash.edu.