Day 122: Giving feedback on writing through video
By Mark Heintz
Mar 3, 2020

Day 122

Giving feedback to every student on writing is difficult to do in a timely manner. That’s nothing new; however, in the past, I created a system in which the students became dependent on my feedback FOR EVERYTHING THEY DID. They wanted me to tell them how they were doing. That process seemed incredibly wrong. One of the goals of school is to have them become more independent. I was doing the opposite.

One of my teaching shifts was to have the students provide feedback to themselves and their peers. By the end of the year, they should know what is going well with their writing and what they need help on. This problem is a little trickier in an AP class. There is a standard rubric and the writing is very specific.

So, how do I give feedback to all of my students on writing? How do I do this in a timely manner?

Typically after reading a few samples, I realize most students make one a few mistakes. I would realize that grading the entire stack to go over just a few samples wasn’t the best use of time. In the past to speed up the process, I would have a rubric that had those common errors and I would just check it off. However, that was time-consuming and put me at the center of the feedback. They still needed me to tell each one of them what they did or didn’t do.

Change in practice.

I make a video of my giving feedback to a few samples. To do this, I take a few pictures of the writing the students do. If it’s on the computer, I take screenshots; if it’s on paper, I take pictures with my phone. I upload them and put them into blank note in notability.


Then, I use the record feature on the iPad. Make sure you turn the microphone on. I have made the mistake too many times.

After that, I record myself giving feedback to a few of the samples. The students watch the video and then look at their own to see what they can do. The students focus on what they need; they become the focus again. In doing this, the students actually listen to the feedback instead of just looking at the rubric or score. I don’t “grade” the essays. The students can make mistakes on learn from them without fear of the grade. We can do this process more frequently because it becomes more meaningful. I give the essays back the next day, and they learn from it. Furthermore, I can still give feedback for the specific type of writing needed for the essay.

As the students are reading their writing and their peers, I walk around and answer questions.

Bonus: The video becomes an archive that students can come back to or if they missed they can view the file.





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