Last updated: 18.01.13

Cardiff lecturers using e-learning to provide student feedback

Lecturers at Cardiff Metropolitan University are now using e-learning to record personalised video feedback while marking students' assignments.

Through screen-capture technology, the educators are able to give the impression they are present during the marking process, which allows them to deliver constructive criticism that is tailored to the needs of each young person, Times Higher Education reports.

Once tutors have recorded themselves correcting the student's paper - explaining where errors have been made and showing amendments - they can then upload the content on to the university's online learning platform or email it to the individual directly.

Nigel Jones, senior lecturer in information systems at the institution and the man who sent each teacher a pack demonstrating how the video feedback process works, referred to a time in 2008 when there was a lot of sickness-related absence in his department

He was quoted as saying: "This meant I got very behind with my marking and as I attempted to catch up I noticed that many of the students were making similar errors, which I wanted to tell them about."

The educator then used a free recording program to bring up images of students' work and with a mouse cursor, highlighted the area that he was assessing and delivered verbal feedback on a webcam. He claimed this method is now reducing marking time, as previously lecturers would have spent between 15 to 20 minutes on each person's work, while each video is about eight to 12 minutes long.

Mr Jones noted the platform is also popular among overseas students who find it difficult to articulate questions about their errors, stating: "This approach means they can replay the feedback as many times as they wish and it avoids them having to ask repetitive questions."

This technique is ideal for online training providers who interact with their students over the web and many are choosing to adopt similar practices.

One example is Virtual College, a company based in the north-east of the UK that allows digital learners of its e-Apprenticeship courses to access training in key skills on the internet. This includes an e-portfolio for students to upload their work on to, which mentors can then check over to assess their progress.