A recent scan of UTS faculties has revealed that a large number of subjects use video assessments in many different, and sometimes creative, ways. A group of learning design and technology specialists at LX.lab have conducted further investigation to understand the challenges that academics face while working with video assessments. Findings from interviewing 17 academics and reviewing video assessments from 27 subjects in the LMS, have revealed a need to support the design and development of this type of assessments across faculties. Therefore, our group of learning designers at LX.lab have created several opportunities for academics including the Using video for assessment collection.

Introducing video assessment

Subject coordinators and learning and teaching teams are endeavouring to improve student learning experience through embedding active learning approaches and authentic assessment design. Content authoring tools have introduced many affordances that promote the concept of students as producers. For instance, students can actively engage in curating, designing and generating content using tools such as video creation tools. Video content also affords students the opportunity to explore their innovation and creativity. Further, this type of assessment has been realised by many academics as an impetus for professional readiness in terms of the UTS graduate attributes.

Benefits of video assessments

Snelson (2018) reported on findings from a scoping study of 61 published research projects from 2006 through 2017, about the benefits and opportunities that students gain as they engage in the video production process. Among the skills that students benefit from include:

  1. Lifelong learning skills as students engage in authentic learning experiences. For example, learning accountability and responsibility, appreciation of differences, effective communication and citizenship.
  2. Video digital literacy skills as students gain increased competency and efficacy in using technology. For example, students learn about types of videos that can be used to deliver a particular knowledge or skill, how to communicate with different audiences, as well as planning, drafting, editing skills.
  3. Information sharing and publishing skills that students develop through publishing their videos on different platforms. This entails publishing, licensing and engaging with the global audience.

Further benefits were also realised through the peer review process, as students build better learning through engaging with video assessment rubrics. Importantly, the process of integrating video in assessments aligns with UTS 2027 strategic plan of transforming to a lifetime of learning, where students engage in learning experiences that are authentic, and aimed at creating valued and successful professionals.

Video assessment at UTS

In 2021, there were close to 500 video assessment tasks found across faculties. FEIT occupies the top place with close to 140 video assessment tasks, Business and Health (including GSH) had around 100 tasks each and FASS approximately 80 tasks. The rest are distributed unevenly among DAB, Science, FTDI and Law. Even with this widespread use of video assessment tasks, the demand for video assessment support has grown particularly during the year of the pandemic. 

Many academics have commented that there is little information available about designing a video assessment task and assessing students working using a rubric that focuses not only on content but also on communication skills, for example. Additionally, academics were desperate to provide students with resources for filming and editing videos using simple tools. The external resources currently used often have long guides and references that are difficult to use. Moreover, the submission of video assessment tasks and allowing peer feedback were not straightforward processes that students can do within the learning management system.

Video assessment considerations for academics

When developing a video assessment, academics would, as in any other assessment, start from alignment with the learning outcomes. After identifying the outcomes that the assessment will be addressing, the process of developing the assessment content starts with defining the task and what students are expected to accomplish. Academics should consider the following:

  • Providing students with clear instructions in the LMS, creating submission links and learning scaffolding.
  • Ensuring equitable access and inclusivity in video assessment by providing alternative assessments options for students.
  • Developing clear rubric by considering video assessment criteria. For each type of assessment, evaluation criteria can change slightly, however for most assessments, a rubric should be used to evaluate the audio-visual language & communication, ethics, discipline knowledge & professional readiness and interpersonal communication.
  • Setting up submission links for video assessments can be crucial in some LMS including Canvas. There is a limited storage capacity for uploading media files, hence academics need to consider third party solutions (i.e. Kaltura) to accommodate large file sizes of video assessments.

Supporting your students 

Supporting students with creating video assessments can be vital for both academics and students. For example, academics can provide students with clear expectations of the quality of the videos using a rubric and examples from last year’s video assessment. It’s also important that academics clarify the time students are expected to spend on developing their videos and avoid reinventing the wheel by utilising existing resources that can help students with achieving the learning outcomes. Finally, to help academics with supporting their students, the LX.lab have also created a set of student resources for video assessment along with instructions on how to import the pages into your subject site in Canvas.

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