If you want to have your students create a video to demonstrate their understanding of content, keep these 5 tips in mind for a successful project:
1. Share the grading rubric and a sample finished product with the
The rubric needs to focus on your content and standards. Do not
make a rubric that gives the majority of points on requirements of a video –
things like credits, background music, transitions, time limit , etc. Stay focused on the objectives of your unit or lesson. Having a sample video to show the students gives them a concrete example of what the rubric is targeting and will help your students get a good start on their planning.
2. Require students to plan their project before recording
Require a storyboard or script and make it a graded part of the project. The more preparation they do, the better the finished product. And do not make it an option – if you want students to plan, you need to grade the plan they submit. I suggest making the
preparation component at least 25% of the overall project grade.
3. Set limits on where and what students can record
Without limits, students will want to record outside the building, in the auditorium, in a moving car, etc. A video project should also not give your students the right to roam the halls, interrupting other classes. Tell them where they can go to record. Let students know up front who they can have in their video. Talk to students about the need to ask someone for permission before recording them.
4. Set a schedule for tasks and stick to it
Have a deadline for the script or storyboard. Set a date when recording the raw video
must be done. Leave specific time for the editing to take place. If you are
vague with deadlines, saying things like ” hopefully we can get done recording
Tuesday“, your students will hear this as ” we will be recording Tuesday and
Wednesday“. Setting deadlines and sticking to them will help keep your students on task.
5. Have additional group tasks to complete while editing the video
No matter what your students use to edit their movie: a computer, iPad,
iPod , etc, only one student is going to do the actual editing. They may need to ask
their group a question every now and then, but for the most part you will have
one student working and the others doing whatever. Try to have some other
tasks for the group to complete and submit as part of the project grade. In an
Ecology class I worked with, groups worked on making videos about composting.
When we reached the editing step, groups had to create a poster on composting to
go along with the content of their video. While one person in the group edited the video, the other two students created the poster.