Why this project?
For the past few years I have been recording conversations (audio versions) at one of the term ends; whether it was term 1 or term 2 depended on the time commitment and how much procrastination I had done prior to November. These conversations were valuable, but not very efficient. Each conversation took about 5 minutes, plus set-up of the software (Garageband) and organization of each student. I teach 300 students and this process took approximately 2000 minutes of school time. This equates to roughly 33.5 hours of instructional time. Through the support of my fellow teachers and administration, I was always able to complete the process but I was searching for a more efficient medium. Along came the iPad.
I am in the process of recording each of my students in action during class for one minute, followed by a two-three minute conversation that includes a student self-assessment, my assessment of them and their description of their activity levels outside of the school. I follow two students per class for a total of twelve students per day. This video assessment is made available to their parents and serves as the “comment” portion of their term report card. A number grade continues to be given to the students on their report cards. The process is running smoothly and from the informal feedback I’ve received from the students, they like this format much better. We had a parent volunteer in to run “Bootcamp” for our students and she was overwhelmingly in favor of this type of assessment
The goal of this project is to determine if the video assessment gives our students (and parents) a better understanding of the PE program goals and their progress in class with relation to these goals, than a traditional written assessment. From speaking to our students, many of them don’t even read the comments that we write on the report cards. So, at the very least, we are ensuring communication with each student.