Insights & Ideas for Online Teaching
Student created videos
The AP Exam is right around the corner and it's time for my annual -- student created video solutions to past AP Exam Free Response questions.
After listening to John Spencer talk about the 1-on-1 conferences he has with his students at a recent AIMS Teachers Retreat, I thought that I might use a similar idea in student created videos. Instead of asking students to individually record a solution to a past free response question, as I've done in the past, I decided to sit with the student while they created the video. This is the first time I've tried this format, and I am still playing with ideas... but here is what I did and my thoughts for things to try in the future.
Preparation: I made a Google spreadsheet of problems that needed to be solved and conference times. Each student chose a problem and appointment slot. In preparation for their appointment, their task was to: 1. neatly solve the problem on a piece of paper, 2. consult the scoring guidelines for their question, 3. revise their answer to make sure all points were hint, asking classmates or me for help in the process. During their appointment, they brought their completed work with them, to reference in making their video.
Setup: To set up for making the video, I used: a Surface Pro (for me), a Wacom DTU-1031 (for student), a microphone (Audio-Technica AT2020), OneNote, a TI calculator emulator, and Camtasia Studio. This setup was totally awesome because I had a screen for me plus a screen for my students! I "printed" the AP problems to OneNote ahead of time, and then had students ink on that when making their video.
In this assignment, I really let the students do all the talking and tried to chime in as little as possible. If a point was missed, or if I wanted them to go a little more in depth, I tried to just ask a simple question. These videos were really about them -- not about being flawless or perfectly detailed.
After all videos were complete, I posted them for the class to access. They were asked to write up a critique of several videos and to talk about something they learned, something that was still unclear after watching the video, and something that could have made the video stronger. I really wish that we had done this whole process earlier in the year, so that they could use what they learned from what their peers did plus from the feedback they received on their own videos in order to make the next video lesson stronger. This year was hard, with 10 snow days and a new schedule for our school. But really, that's no excuse. Good thing I get to do it all again next year!
For the future:
- Spread out the process over several weeks -- I have a class of 20, and making 20 videos in one week was too hectic!
- Have a bit more of a conversation with the student when they haven't explained something in enough detail and probe a little deeper -- I wanted this project to be really independent, but my students commented that having me ask a couple of questions was really helpful. So in the future, perhaps I'll make things a bit more conversational, while still leaving things very much in the control of the student.
- Use a similar process for students who have done poorly on a test -- Instead of just asking them to meet with me and then turn in corrections, which I typically do, make a screencast of the session, which students will be able to reference later and study
- Have students make videos throughout the year, and continue the process of asking students to watch videos created by their classmates and critique them.
- Have students watch their own video and reflect on strengths and areas that need work.
Here is a link to my students' video solutions to past Free Response questions from the last couple years. Videos from this year are labeled 2013-14 Students. These are not perfect -- nor are they meant to be perfect!