Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Using video to synthesize learning

When working with high school students, especially those learning English, it's often a challenge to find authentic audiences. As many of you probably know, it's certainly a game-changer when it's not just the teacher who is looking at your work or listening to you speak. Recently, my students were tasked to create a one-minute video synthesis about what they have learned so far about Edible Insects. 

Students first wrote their scripts, together with a partner. Despite my love of having them to write (much to their chagrin!), the focus of my formative assessment relied on their spoken video synthesis.  During their writing process, though, I could easily ask clarifying questions and provoke their thinking--which in turn, provided additional layers of formative assessment.  

Students then reflected on what makes an interesting video, reflected on what they can add or do differently after watching each others' videos, and what they liked about their own videos. 

Check out the videos below to see how providing this "simple" formative assessment allowed students to express themselves and their learning in very different ways, while collaborating within a time limit. What is most exciting to me is how different each video turned out, a testament to the importance and value of choice and multi-format assessments. 

How can YOU tweak student assessments to include all four domains of speaking, reading, writing, and listening? And who could be your students' next authentic audience?

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