Using Video To Authentically Assess Students

Using Video To Authentically Assess Students

Many articles speak to the benefits of using interactive video to engage learners, but some instructors also utilize this medium as a valuable evaluation tool. Rhett Allain, an associate physics professor and frequent Wired contributor, wrote an insightful piece last week about how he uses videos to test student comprehension in his courses at Southeastern Louisiana University. Allain refers to this process as video assessment, which is one of the most authentic ways to measure what students know.

While Allain never explicitly uses the word authentic to describe his assessment method, he outlines the advantages of authentic assessment in his pitch to promote video exercises. For example, Allain describes how video responses give him more insight into someone’s thought process than a traditional exam because students have to apply their knowledge to a problem or scenario. By having students show what they know rather than regurgitate what they read in a textbook, Allain can determine who understands the concept of an electric field due to a dipole more accurately.

Another benefit of video exercises is that students actually retain more information on a subject because they are essentially teaching it through a demonstration. Students might be able to recall information they studied and score well on a multiple choice test, but this knowledge is often limited to a particular context. When students have to solve a higher-level problem or apply the concept to a real-life situation, they develop critical thinking skills that translate beyond one specific scenario.

Allain also explains how creating videos exposes his students to more information. While he’s referring to the educational material students consume to develop their solution to a problem, Allain’s point actually applies to an important aspect of authentic assessment as well: feedback. Not only do videos allow instructors to deliver feedback, but they also let peers review each other’s work and lend an additional perspective. Peer review is a great way for students to absorb additional information about a subject, and it encourages self-reflection.

From the sounds of his article, Allain’s students use cameras and iPhones to shoot their videos. While this process seems effective for his classes, there are others ways to utilize video as a means of assessment. YouSeeU’s video-based technology enables authentic assessment and promotes soft skill development on a scalable basis. To learn more about how our Video Assignments and Virtual Classroom can impact students, visit YouSeeU’s website.