Screencasting Formative Feedback

How one tutor increased students’ engagement with feedback.

YouTubeButtonIn this video blog post Carl Simmons explains why assessment is so problematic and suggests how tutors can increase the amount of useful information that students receive using screen and voice recording software.

The issues are:

  1. Good quality feedback consumes significant tutor resource;
  2. Students tend not to use the qualitative feedback comments.

Carl replaced traditional feedback (handwritten comments / annotated Word documents) with videos of each students’ script, adding an audio recording of himself talking about the work – a ‘screencast’.

Results indicate that students both use this feedback more than traditional text comments – and feel that the assessor has their best interests at heart, providing a motivational boost.

SpeechBubbleThe students engaged far more readily with the screencast feedback – often viewing it more than three times.  There was also a perception that the feedback took significantly longer to produce – yet Carl found creating the screencasts took him about the same length of time as previous methods.

Carl’s approach is significant because many studies indicate increasing student engagement with qualitative feedback improves students’ outcomes.

Carl has created a screencast that outlines the technique and discusses how he analysed the data.  Potential issues are also identified, such as raising students’ expectations.  Here’s the link:

Your next steps?

Create a screen cast of your own – perhaps marking an exemplar piece – unpacking the reasoning behind the piece’s grade.

Carl would be delighted to speak to colleagues, both at Edge Hill and beyond to give help and advice to those considering using this screen casting technique.  Further, perhaps you might be able to add to the research data – seeing if the results you get are similar to those already observed.

BestofTEL_SMALLCarl Simmons
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Education

Telephone:  01695 650916 x7916
Email: [email protected]


For further help, support and advice on how you can use screen casting or any other TEL tools, please contact your Learning Technologist (see the Faculty Contacts on this page) or email the LTD Team on [email protected] or 01695 650754 (x7754).  Or – you just ‘do it’ with my favourite FREE service:

Learning Edge Upgrade Success!

The scheduled summer upgrade has been completed successfully and you can now login to Learning Edge as normal.

The upgrade introduces a number of improvements – most significantly a new true student preview and anonymous & delegated grading options.

Where can you learn more?

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the LTD team will be hosting an online webinar (via Collaborate) at 2.00pm on Wednesday 23rd of July and Thursday 24th July. These sessions will introduce you to what’s new, provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and help you explore where and how to make the most of the new improved system.

Please Feedback

Take your time to explore the upgraded system and let us know what you think.

The LTD team have worked hard to test the upgrade so we are not expecting any unexpected behaviour! However, if you do spot any problems please let us know asap so we can investigate and get them resolved for you.

Contact the Learning Technology Development team to share any queries or comments you have regarding the upgrade or the online webinar– leave a comment below, email [email protected] or call 01695 650754.

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager




Meg Juss
Learning Technology Development Manager

Summer 2014 – Blackboard Upgrade Awareness Webinar

Summer each year allows a window of opportunity for Learning Technology to update Blackboard to the latest version, containing new features and fixing a number of niggles. This year, the upgrade will occur on the evening of Sunday 20th July into the morning of Monday 21st July.  During this time, there will be no access to Blackboard up until (we expect) Monday afternoon once we have carried out testing to make sure everything is running as expected.

Webinar 23rd and 24th July @ 14:00

To follow on from the upgrade, we are offering a short webinar where you can find out what the new features are and anything that you may need to be aware of.  There aren’t too many changes this time, so we don’t anticipate that the webinar will be a long one, but it will give you the opportunity for an overview and also ask questions to our team of Learning Technologists. The link you will need to join the webinar is:


You can also access it via the Staff Development -> Staff Webinar Area under ‘Communities‘ in Blackboard Any questions, please contact the Learning Technology Development Team on ext. 7754 or [email protected]

Accessible and Inclusive Design: iSpring Version

For those who couldn’t make it to the recent session on creating accessible content I thought it would be worth making a version of the session available.

In the session we looked at how content uploaded to Edge Hill’s Learning Edge online learning environment can be created in ways that make it more accessible to a wide range of students including those with SpLDs and those using mobile devices to access content.

By the way, I used the Yeti Pro microphone that Carol wrote about earlier this month, so the recording will give you the opportunity to listen to it in action.


Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Yeti Pro Blue Microphone – a beast of a microphone!

LTD recently purchased a mammoth of a microphone to help with recordings of screen casts and other materials and also to offer it to staff who are developing their own content for teaching and learning.

The Yeti Pro microphone, manufactured by the legendary Blue Microphones, is a stunning microphone to record with giving clear crisp recordings straight to your PC.

Now the techie bit…

  • USB connection to PC
  • 24 bit/192 kHz digital recording resolution with analog XLR output.
  • Featuring three custom condenser capsules
  • Four different pattern settings (Stereo, Omni-directional, Cardoid and Bidirectional,
  • A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path for use with professional studio mixers and preamps.
  • Built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring
  • Direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, mute, and microphone gain.

Basically this means that for whatever purpose you have in mind for your audio recording, you’ll be able to find the best setting for the job but most commonly you’ll probably be using it to record yourself, so the cardioid setting will do just fine.


With the availability of USB this makes it super quick and simple to plug in and use (after installing a small USB driver – but we’ve already put this on the hot desks in the LTD office and on the screen casting laptop!)

The quality really is top notch, so if you fancy giving it a try to raise your game with your screen casts, come visit LTD and we’ll get you on the right track.


Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer