How does it align with the module learning outcomes? Does it assess skills and knowledge that are key to the discipline?
Consider whether podcasting and video can allows students to meet the learning outcomes. This might not be the case in all modules. However, building more communication explicitly into programmes can help to increase employability through use of Web 2.0 technology; support non-traditional students by widening the assessment portfolio; and facilitate communication skills through greater awareness of audience and knowledge creation.
Will it be formative or summative? If summative, how will I give opportunities for practice? When will it occur in the term/module? What will the weighting be?
Podcasts and videos work well in classes where students are involved in longer projects and research or exploring a topic throughout a module. They may also be suitable for a short formative assignment. However, consider students’ workload throughout the term, and the effort required to produce a podcast. You should try to build time into the module for this.
If you want to focus on the process of producing the podcasts as well as assessing it as a finished product, you could provide students opportunities to complete formative tasks which then build to the holistic summative assessment, integrating feedback and continuous assessment. Reflective writing or informal vivas/conversations with teachers could be built into the assignment in order to assess management of the process (Hopkins, 2012).
Malisius suggests setting a video or podcast assignment at level 4 when students have time to become familiar with a new type of assessment in a formative situation.
How will I mark it? What criteria will I use? How will I give feedback?
You should carefully consider the weighting for the technical aspects of the podcast/video vs the content. This is no different to the basics of creating a rubric for a presentation where delivery vs content can imbalance the grade, but there is greater scope for students to produce a technically brilliant podcast/video with little academic value or for students to basically distill an ‘A’ grade essay into a podcast, which is very dull.
Decide whether you want the assessment to be individual or group. See Group Work for suggestions on creating rubrics and apportioning grades.
Here are two examples of rubrics and criteria for assessing podcasts and videos:
Ensure that all markers are familiar with using the criteria to assess such assignments. A short standardisation/harmonisation exercise can be undertaken prior to student submission. You can use the King’s Academy guide to Standardisation to help choose a suitable model for your marking team.
How can I address potential challenges?
Do I need to make any modifications for accessibility/inclusivity? Can I build these into the design?
Like collaborative writing, podcasting and videos can support students who cannot access campus. If all group members are unable to work together, individuals may be able to record sections separately and merge them together afterwards. However, consider how you will provide support with technology for these students.
Students who are hearing or visually impaired might be given a choice of using either a video or podcast format for the same assignment.
Kaltura and Youtube (see below) both have the option of captions for hearing impaired students.
A video assessment format for a standard oral presentation could be employed as an initial scaffold for students who are anxious about public speaking, as the same skills can be assessed and audience must be considered.
Do I need to make any modifications for large cohort sizes? Will it be time-consuming to set up or mark? Is there anything I can do to modify it to address this?
Setting group assignments can sustain students’ ambition and confidence. It can also reduce the time spent marking individual submissions. Podcasts and videos may be more difficult to mark using criteria, but usually only initially. However in very large classes, the organisation and time required to set up and manage the process may prevent their use.
Set a time limit in minutes for the video or podcast product. This should strike a balance between giving students the opportunity to distill concepts and meet the learning outcomes, and time constraints for both assessors and students.
Will it be difficult to set up?
Generally the software used in creating podcasts and even video is not difficult to use, and there are online tutorials. Faculty learning technologists and CTEL can support students and assessors.
For hosting securely and non-commercially, Kaltura is a King’s service which integrates with KEATS (contact CTEL). Kaltura is also available in China, therefore opens up to a wider audience and can be used for distance courses. You can choose to have students upload to an external host such as YouTube or SoundCloud (either privately or publicly), or sharing a link to the file via e.g. OneDrive or Dropbox.
Most students can use their phones for recording, or anything that converts to a MPEG4 file. Students will need to be able to record and edit the podcast on either their computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.
For recording and/or editing sound, Audacity is free (tutorials are available on Lynda.com).
For recording and/or editing videos, OpenShot is free.
Consider how you will share feedback with students. On KEATS both Assignment and Turnitin allow feedback to be given in the form of general comments, rubrics or marking guides (students do not need to submit anything for feedback to be given).
How can I introduce it to students?
Students might be anxious about a new form of assessment and be concerned about how it will be marked, and how and when feedback will be given.
When introducing the assignment, talk through your rationale and purpose with students and how it relates to the module Learning Outcomes.
Support students to become clear about what makes a good podcast or video in your context. Since this kind of work is often diverse, provide some examples which show a range of interpretations of the brief. Help students grasp the marking criteria with a guided marking activity.