by Karen Nichols
Faculty Focus, a publication I value a lot, posted an article on January 8, 2016 explaining the benefits of screencasting feedback to students. Dr. Ron Martinez, the author, talked about his solution to providing students one-to-one feedback about their essays in his oversized class. He was seeking a way to give the personalization when he could not individually meet with every student about every essay. Using Screencast-o-matic, he was able to provide that personal touch.
There are multiple screencast apps out there, and we offer Camtasia Studio to our faculty. However, there's a bit of a learning curve and faculty have to trek over here to our office and schedule time in advance in order to use it. I shared this article on screencasting feedback with my colleagues here in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development.
Dr. Jay Todd, our Associate Director, has already experimented with it in his English composition class. Here's his feedback about screencasting feedback:
I used Screencast-O-Matic to make a video for my classes yesterday, since I waited until the last minute.... It worked pretty well, although the default quality of the video it posted to YouTube was significantly lower than I prefer. The free version doesn't allow any editing and includes a watermark, but the Pro version is only $15/year. It has a much easier learning curve than Camtasia, at least the recording part.
So it seems that reading Dr. Martinez' article and downloading Screencast-o-matic may be useful, especially if you don't care to type pages of correction notes. One caveat from Dr. Martinez is that screencasting your feedback is not necessarily a timesaver. I hope the fact that you can work outside of office hours, does give you more flexibility in how you distribute the time needed to provide such personalized feedback. Let us know if you decide to try screencasting and what you think of it.
(For more information on various types of helpful feedback, see Janice Florent's recent blog post: Give Students Feedback that Helps Them Learn.)