Audio and video feedback for students

There are many good reasons to make video or audio-only feedback for students.

  • It is easier and faster to speak as opposed to write.
  • You can employ tone and nuance more easily in your feedback which might make the feedback more effective.
  • With a student’s work open on your computer you can record your screen and point to or highlight parts of the work you refer to.
  • Students are more likely to watch or listen to it, and to engage with it.

This article outlines how you can record and send ad hoc video feedback to a student.

This article also explains how you can use the Grade Centre or the Online Marking Tool to include video feedback when marking a Blackboard submission. 

But first, a few points for consideration

Generic feedback (i.e. the same feedback for all students) really soon after the assessment deadline is some of the most effective feedback you can give students. Like it or not, several days or weeks after the assessment deadline the assessment will not be as present in students’ minds. With a video or audio recording, arguably more so than in writing, you can say what is needed at that time to support the students. A simple way to get generic feedback quickly and easily to students straight after an assessment is to send an announcement on the Blackboard module site.

Although this article refers mostly to video feedback, it is important to remember how useful a straightforward audio file is for feedback purposes. Many students prefer audio-only feedback and members of staff may feel more comfortable recording just audio feedback, too. You can use Panopto to record audio-only files as well as to create video files.

A smartphone can record great quality audio and video files. Upload the files into Panopto or OneDrive and from there the files can then be made available to students as required.

One significant benefit of using a laptop/desktop computer to make a recording (as opposed to a mobile device) is that you can more easily record what happens on your screen. You could, for example, open a submission to be assessed and make a recording of the screen as you annotate, highlight and interact in various ways with the work. This makes for a rich feedback video which could prove very valuable to your students.

A simple way to send an audio file to a student is as an email attachment. However, it is not such a good idea to send videos as attachments as the file sizes tend to be too large. In general, do not send email attachments over 10MB. Files bigger than this should be uploaded into Panopto or OneDrive and shared with students from there.

Audio quality matters much more than video quality. Students tire of a recording that is difficult to hear much more quickly than something that is hard to see.

Keep feedback videos short. Attention spans drop off rapidly after just six minutes of video.

Consider where you will record and save audio and video files, and, particularly if you have lots of files, how you will name them, keep these organised, available if needed and secure. You could use OneDrive to save and share files. However, a benefit of using tools like Panopto is that they help you to do all of these things.

Be careful to follow good data protection practice, particularly if any recordings contain personal (e.g. student) data or if you are using personal and mobile devices. Delete files when no longer needed.

How to record and send ad hoc video feedback via Panopto

Using Panopto is probably the easiest way to record and send a video or audio recording to an individual student. You can use Panopto to make the recording, to share it with the student so they can see it, and to send an email notification to the student telling them the recording is there to be watched.

  1. Make your desktop recording with Panopto in the usual way.
  2. Make sure it is saved in your My Folder in Panopto or the ASSESS folder for the module, NOT the main module folder. (Be careful – files saved in the main module folder can immediately be seen by all students attached to the module!)
  3. In your video library, hover over the video you want to share and click on the Share icon. This will open your sharing options.
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  4. In the invite people area, start typing the name or email address of the student you want to share with and a list of suggested users will appear. Select the correct person, being careful to choose the correct student from the search results. (Please note, if the student has never used Panopto before, the search system will not be able to locate them.)
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  5. Before you save, you can add a message for the person you are sharing with.

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  6. Click Send and save changes to share the video. It will be viewable immediately by the student once they visit Panopto. If ‘Notify people via email’ is ticked an email notification is sent to the student that includes your message, letting them know the video has been shared with them.