In Canvas, lecturers have the opportunity to provide students with audio and/or video feedback on their assessments, usually in addition to annotations on their written assignments. Because they can be recorded from a laptop or desk computer, feedback videos can be a fast and effective way to make a connection with students.

Motivation

Feedback is a perennial problem in many courses. Students want more personalised feedback. Lecturers want to make the giving of feedback more explicit to students, and for feedback given to feel personal, immediate, and collegial. Written feedback can feel confrontational if students misinterpret tone; video allows lecturers to use verbal cues to soften and contextualise their responses.

Students enjoy receiving verbal feedback in addition to the annotated feedback on their assignments. They have reported that video feedback feels more friendly, personalised and less intimidating, and that the feedback they receive feels part of an ongoing conversation they are having with the lecturer.

Implementation

Many lecturers make some notes beforehand, and plan a simple structure for their feedback. For example, they might begin with a broad statement about what they were looking for, identify the strengths of the assignment, and highlight specific areas for development or improvement – and what the student could do to improve those areas. Video also gives you an opportunity to introduce an affective element: words of encouragement can give a struggling student the motivation necessary to complete the course.

Canvas has a built-in media recording tool that can capture video directly from a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam, or audio with a mic. Many lecturers also complement the video feedback with written annotations using SpeedGrader.

Where to next?

SpeedGrader in Canvas also has a built-in speech recognition function, so you can dictate directly to text if you prefer:

Tools and Tips

How do I submit audio/video feedback to a student?

Leaving feedback comments in SpeedGrader

Resources

Crook, A., Mauchline, A., Maw, S., Lawson, C. Drinkwater, R., Lundqvist, K., Orsmond, P., Gomez, S., & Park, J. (2012). The use of video technology for providing feedback to students: Can it enhance the feedback experience for staff and students? Computers & Education,
58(1), 386-396. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.08.025

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