-by Dean Schmeichel, Phys. Ed. Teacher
(For more information on this project, read the first blog post here)
I have now completed all of the video recordings for 300 students. There is a clip of the students participating in PE class (approximately one minute) and a conversation between each student and myself that lasts for an average of three minutes. This process was a lot of work and at times I questioned my own intelligence in taking it on.
- The four minutes of total video each student receives, is far superior in multiple ways to a traditional written comment in my view: content; authentic assessment; student voice; long term student understanding and growth; students using the “language” of assessment.
- As opposed to written comments, these interviews are done in class and actually take up less of your preparation time than a written comment.
- Talking to the students gives each student a chance to explain, defend and advocate for him or herself during the assessment. A surprising number of students will challenge my assessment, opinions or presumptions.
- I feel that I have a better understanding of each of the students who I teach after this process. It is especially valuable with the more introverted students who might not speak up during class.
- The action video combined with the interview gives a fairly complete “picture” of each student’s progress in PE.
- I should have followed my original plan and videotaped two students each class, each day. Due to my procrastination, I ended up having to take a bunch of video and do a bunch of interviews on multiple days, leading up to the report card deadline. It caused me unnecessary stress and probably resulted in lower quality conversations.
- I also should have named the videos after I uploaded them onto my computer. Such a small oversight meant that I had to spend Sunday night naming all of the files on my computer.
- Make sure, before beginning, that there are various ways to distribute the videos confidentially to each of the students and store the videos for record keeping.
- Keep in mind that although it might be the 245th conversation that I (the teacher) has had this term, it is the first conversation that particular student has had with me. I tried to keep this at the fore-front of my thinking when I was feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of interviews I had left to do.
- Administration and colleague support is not only key, it is crucial to the success of this project. Without buy-in from the school, there is very little chance for success.