Welcome to Vlogging-for-Assessment

(Amy Burvall, @amyburvall on Twitter)In this session (4/17/12) we will explore the use of video blogs, or "blogs", as assessment tools. Vlogging works for any age, any class, and any device. There are also a myriad of ways to produce a vlog, which allows for differentiation.At the end of this session (or during, as you get ideas), please contribute to the VLOGGING IDEAS DOC according to subject area:

What exactly is a VLOG?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlog (A LITTLE BACKGROUND)


Benefits of Vlogging:
* less stressful in some respects (for student)* easy to produce with basic equipment on laptop (PC or Mac), or iPad using built-in programs or online tools* refreshing and different (both for student and teacher)* fun to watch/ grade; easy to make comments if posted on a blog or emailed (easily shared)* student's personality and individualism shines through (allows for creativity)* ubiquitous format with millenials (they are used to doing them outside of school)* teaches and practices media literacy; can involve design-thinking* assessors can get a sense of comprehension and fluency; difficult to plagiarize

Related Articles

"Video Technologies Drive Education Transformation"

"Is Video Blogging Appropriate for Education?"


"Tube Teaching Blog: Vlogging in Education"

Lots of links to articles compiled by Lucy Gray


Use in Assessment

I've been giving students in Theory of Knowledge an opportunity to produce vlogs in lieu of writing traditional bog posts because they do that often and I felt I needed to spice it up. Plus, TOK is all about the "Knower's Voice", and what better way to showcase that? Students use their laptop webcam, iPhone camera, or other video camera (such as a GoPro) to film themselves and built-in software such as Windows Moviemaker, iMovie, FinalCut, or Adobe Premiere to edit.
Here is a great tutorial about using an iPad, Vimeo, and Posterous to record and post a Vog:

Sample of vlog / film mash-up using FinalCut on a Mac (multi-cam threading)The same student chose to do a vlog later in the year (on his own) in response to some video assignments. It's a little more conversational and "vlog-like", as it was a formative assessment. His TIP= he watched each video, then paused to vlog while it was still fresh in his mind. He also says it's important to really know where you stand on a topic/issue prior to vlogging, so that you can speak with confidence and naturally sans script.This student used vlogging as an option to present his summative research project. It's a bit more formal in nature, and he introduces what he will be discussing. He is very natural in front of the webcam, and it's almost like you are having a conversation with him over coffee.This student, who is normally very quiet in class, actually blossomed in her vlog. She is organized and animated, even though she confesses in the reflection that her "ideas are scrambled, but who says a vlog has to be organized?"This student didn't have a camera and chose to use her iPhone's camera as a recording device (that's why it's skinny). She uses lots of hand-drawn visuals and doesn't really show herself. She is very conversational and comes off as honest but passionate.
This one is again VERY personal, like an intimate conversation...but she uses some cards as visuals, and lots of hand motions. It has a "real".feel.

This student decided to be more formal. Although she is technically READING her prepared essay, she makes good eye contact and is relatively animated in her voice. The choice to make the vlog black and white was a good one, as the background (kitchen) is a bit too distracting.I showed the 9th graders this one as an example of how you can make a vlog more interactive - (he uses Siri on his phone in real time and shows the viewer things)http://johannfreeberg.posterous.com/pages/projects

Recently I decided to offer up some vlogging options to the Freshmen as a summative task in lieu of a traditional essay response. I received a lot of positive feedback from this and peers were able to comment on each others' work.

Here is the assignment:

Basically, I just revamped what I would do in a regular open-sources essay test. As you can see, I offered other options, such as voiceover-image films, Voki, Voicethread (Xtranormal might have been fun but it is no longer free)

This is one of my favorites. It was a bit under the time frame given as a guideline (and there is one error regarding Henry VIII) BUT...this student projected well and was clear in her voiceover. More than that, she planned an amazing series of simple but effective notecard illustrations that were basically animated. It took a lot of forethought and makes a powerful impact.
This student had some issues uploading his project to his Posterous blog because he decided to make it more of a film and experiment with FinalCutPro (Mac). He ended up uploading it to Vimeo. The time lapse film portion was appropriated. This style of blog suits this particular student's personality.

Vlog from Tyler Lunow-Luke on Vimeo.

This student chose to use Voicethread. Voicethread is a great tool because you can interact with the images by drawing on them (he did this a few times). Viewers who are signed in can comment via text or video. They have a special program for educators. You can find out more in my project description, where I've posted links and tutorials. For example, you can record in a number of ways, including by phone!

This student chose to have a plain background (which was recommended) and made it black and white, to keep it clean and simple, and the viewer focused on what he is saying. It's simple but effective, as he is quite natural.
This student used his own drawings / cartoons. He explains some of his "issues" in the reflection under the video:

VOKI: I had many students try VOKI because it is relatively easy if you just want to type in text and have a voice speak for you, or you can record your own voice. They seemed to like the British accents best. There are fun avatars, and many students who chose this option used different avatars for each segment. The ONLY drawback is that if you use the free version the segments are limited to 1 minute, so you will have to create more than 1 if needed.
Using the same avatar:

Using different avatars:

This student had a LOT to say. In his reflection after posting the 12 Vokis, he included the SCRIPT and recommended that the listener read the script on the right side of the screen while listening to the Vokis on the left.http://kivalur4.posterous.com/pages/my-work

There is certainly no reason one can't be a tad humorous or cheeky, as long as the criteria are met. This student used Adobe Premiere, which allowed him to have several image areas at once. he is both scripted and spontaneous. (still not sure why he refers to Washington as a dictator, though)
More cheekiness! This student produced 2 blogs - one as himself and one in the first person AS A DICTATOR (with costume!) - see the first 2 vids on his project page. Music in the intro sets the stage!http://flydude.posterous.com/pages/my-work

Making use of TEXT OVERLAY. This student works the use of text overlay to reiterate a point.
Here's an example of a great use of APPROPRIATED IMAGES to illustrate points AND excellent vocal quality:
This student admitted that he had a difficult time keeping in the time frame of 5-10 minutes. This could be a problem - or not. It depends on how you feel about succinctness versus depth. I felt great that he felt comfortable in talking about this subject for over 15 minutes and sharing with the world (YouTube). *Intriguing how towards the end he feels comfortable relating the topic to his own personal life!

PEER REVIEW:Instead of presenting each one to the class OR having me be the only one watching, I decided to have students draw "vlogbuddy" names out of a hat. They needed to view 2 specific peer vlogs and comment on them. Here's an example:


I always find it best to show exemplars. Here are some to think about:
(caution- some adult language)
And from the famous VLOGBROTHERS

You can use any screen-capture system, such as Camtasia or Quicktime (Mac). Most students in my classes opted for the simple webcam capture in iMovie or MovieMaker.
I recommend exporting to YouTube or Vimeo, as that compresses the videos and makes them easy to embed/ share.
Voki and Voicethread are easily embeddable/shareable


* plan out your VLOG to the extent you'd like. This could mean notecards, a script, key words, illustrations, appropriated images, etc.
* make sure you are relaxed prior to filming
* know your point of view inside and out (tip from a student!). That way you can talk easily without a script
* carefully choose a background if you are to appear against one. The plainer the better, but beige/white is often too boring. Sometimes props (like bookshelves) can set the mood.
* be wary of your lighting choice - if dark, it might be grainy, which is fine if that is the look you are going for
* the audio is of utmost importance. Try to get a good mic (like a SNOWBALL!) or even a headset (see Luke's vlog). Record in an isolated place. Acoustics are fabulous in bathrooms and shut cars!
* don't be afraid to take a break and stop recording. You can simply resume or edit in a transition later.
* Length- this depends but according to students, 10 minutes is just about all they can take. A good length is 5-8 minutes.
*BODY POSITION is important. Watch portions of Damian's 2 presentations here - what is the difference and how does it affect viewing?Pres. 1:Pres. 2: