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I.m going to be writing more about eAssessment this week as I'm developing part of a toolkit for teachers on the subject. One of the bonuses of the increasing interest and critique of traditional assessment approaches is the growing number of examples of new assessment approaches.

One dropped into my twitter feed this morning - Hearing the student voice: Vlogging as an alternative to written assessment by Amy Stickels. Amy teaches Philosophy to International Foundation Year students.

Foundation Year students were tasked with creating a five-minute vlog on the topic of war, she explains. She goes on to say :the assignment is meaningful because it helps them to develop their ideas and think about how they construct their own arguments, and from the perspective of inclusion, it enables students for whom speaking is stronger than writing to be able to be assessed by an alternative method."Since the course is comprised on international students, it test their spoken English skills as well as their skills in using information technology.

It appears the students enjoyed the assessment task. Any provides the following advice for teachers:

  • Have a clear rationale for why you are using a non-traditional assessment – this helps to ‘sell it’ to your students
  • Use an exemplar – you might need to create your own but in subsequent years ask past students if you can use their previous submissions. This helps students to understand any marking scheme and how to create the vlog
  • Include a formative assessment so students feel more comfortable with the task
  • Offer some technical support – most students are comfortable with the technology but there may be some who might need some help
  • Think carefully about the mark scheme – will you focus on content, delivery, video editing? How does this fit with your intended learning outcomes and is it fair? 
  • This could be offered as an option alongside a choice of a written assessment for example, a blog or as an alternative to written forums – instead of typing a student could include a video response in a forum
  • Offer choice as to the content of the vlog – students enjoyed focusing on something of their choice within the topic area
  • It does not add to your workload – it takes no more time to mark than a piece of written work and indeed I found it a lot more enjoyable. The moderator also agreed!

Stickels, A. (2022) Hearing the student voice: Vlogging as an alternative to written assessment. Teaching Insights, Available at: https://teachinginsights.ocsld.org/hearing-the-student-voice-vlogging-as-an-alternative-to-written-assessment/. (Accessed: 4 July 2022)