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Using Snagit to produce formative feedback for the micro-placements scheme


Louise Ogle, Ellen Jarman, Liz Wilkinson, Emma Baker, Jo Edmondson,

Careers & Employability Service

College Team Teaching Commendation, 2018

Background

The College micro-placements scheme receives around 400 applications from second year undergraduates each year, across 12 academic departments. The Careers & Employability Service provides personalised, written CV and cover letter feedback to each applicant during the autumn term to educate students on ways to improve before a final submission. This can be hard for students to absorb and apply compared to face-to-face feedback, as the tone and nuance of positive and negative feedback may not always come across as intended in writing. This can be an additional barrier to learning for students with certain types of neurodiversity or specific learning difficulties.

 

Innovation

A new way of providing personalised, useable feedback to students was proposed, using Techsmith.com’s software Snagit. This would allow Careers Consultants to produce a video recording, with the students’ CV / cover letter displayed on screen. The Careers Consultants could use tone of voice, a more personal style and visual effects on-screen to support the content of the feedback. For example, cursor movements and highlighting could be used to help explain and clarify areas for improvements and elements that were done well. This produced a richer output than more closely replicated face-to-face feedback and was an engaging and useful form of careers education for students. The software produced an MP4 file which could be emailed to students or uploaded to Moodle. Students could access the feedback multiple times at their convenience.

 

Practical Roll-Out

Snagit video feedback was introduced in autumn 2017. The Media Arts department was chosen for the trial, as the students were likely to be most comfortable with engaging in learning via video feedback. It was suggested that if these students were not happy with the video format then it would be very unlikely that any other students would be. Video feedback was produced and shared with the 55 students from this department who applied for the micro-placements scheme.

 

Evidence of Success

Reports from Careers Consultants suggested a 25% reduction in time taken to complete each student’s feedback, and positive views on the process and perceived usefulness of the formative feedback provided.

Students were surveyed and 25 responses were received via SurveyMonkey. Using a 1-5 rating (with 5 being the most positive score) the following responses were recorded (note: data shows percentage of students responding in each category):

 

 

1 (least positive)

2

3

4

5 (most positive)

How easy was the CV and cover letter feedback to understand?

-

-

4%

8%

88%

Did the feedback help you to make your CV & cover letter better?

-

-

4%

16%

80%

How confident do you feel now about making improvements to your CV?

-

-

12%

36%

52%

How do you feel about the Micro-placements scheme in general after receiving your feedback?

-

8%

-

44%

48%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video/Audio

Written

Face-to-face 1:1

Face-to-face in small groups

Telephone

How do you think CV & cover letter feedback should be given on the Micro-placements scheme in future?

84%

4%

12%

-

-

 

Whilst a comparison group of Media Arts students who had received written feedback would have been valuable, survey responders still showed a strong preference (84% of responses) for the video medium. Importantly, 96% of students positively agreed (with a ranking of 4 or 5) that the feedback had helped them to make their CV and cover letter better. This shows evidence of application and learning, as well as positive engagement with the feedback. A strong CV and cover letter are valuable assets for students; this feedback and the development of CV / cover letter writing skills can be seen as a tangible investment that will benefit students long term.

 

Free text student comments included the following:

 

“I think the video feedback was brilliant, it was easy to understand, it was more engaging than if it were written because I personally enjoy hearing someone’s voice, it makes it feel more personal.”

 

“For someone who sometimes finds it hard to read, listening to audio is a nice way to get feedback.”

 

“The audio/ video feedback was truly helpful, they were able to tell me exactly what worked well and specifically what needed improvement.”

 

“Really helped me see corrections and the talk through allowed me to complete this step by step thanks.”

 

One student registered with DDS reported that this was an accessible feedback format to share with his DDS mentor who also gave positive feedback on this methodology.

 

 

 

See other case studies on our Assessment and Feedback page