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Tips and Tricks: To save time and add a personal touch, make video corrections of student essays!

Lene Christiansen is an English teacher at Roligheden High School. Like most language teachers, she often assigns essays for homework. During the school year, she corrects more than 160 essays.

Lene would love to be able to sit down with each student to give them personal pointers on their essays, and their writing in general, but she doesn’t have time. More importantly, the rest of the class would get pretty restless while they were waiting. Lene overcomes this problem by recording her corrections.

Here’s how she does it:

Lene uses the itslearning assignment tool to inform her students of essay topics and deadlines. The students write their essays and submit them as Microsoft Word files within the assignment tool. Lene corrects her students’ essays and saves the files. Then she opens each file and records her computer screen and voice while discussing her corrections and scrolling through the essay. Finally, she saves the video files and sends them to the students through itslearning. In this way, she gives students the personal attention they deserve.

Before Lene makes each video, she thinks about what she wants to say regarding the content, structure and grammar of the essay, as well as what constructive feedback she’d like to give. She used to spend a lot of time trying to write these corrections down in the most understandable way. She finds it a lot faster to explain them out loud. She now spends around 35-40 minutes correcting each essay, instead of an hour.

Lene uses Jing by TechSmith to make her recordings, but you can use the screen and voice capture software of your choice. Jing is free, doesn’t require any extra equipment and allows you to record up to five minutes, pausing the recording whenever you want.

Jing is connected to so Lene saves her video files there, but you can save them on itslearning as well. Lene sets up ‘hidden’ folders in Screencast so students can’t view each other’s videos. The program creates separate URLs for each video. Lene gives students access to their videos by pasting the Screencast URLs into the comments section of the itslearning assignment tool:

It’s hard to get students to read and concentrate on written corrections. Lene finds it easier to get them to view her video corrections. She takes the class to the computer room where they all listen to their videos at the same time, though headphones. She circulates around the room to see if students have questions about the corrections or their grades.

Students watch the videos again before the next writing assignment to remind them what they must work on. They appreciate this correction method and report, “It’s easier to understand what you mean when you explain a mistake out loud” and “I can watch the videos over again in order to understand the corrections. I wish more teachers did it this way.”

Lene says the advantages to video corrections are:

  • it saves time
  • it’s both auditory and visual
  • it promotes Assessment for Learning
  • students like it
  • it’s easier to make students understand corrections
  • students make more improvements using this method
  • it helps build student-teacher relationships
  • it provides a record of what Lene has said to each student

Thanks Lene, for sharing your video correction tips!

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