FeedForward With Screencasts

FeedForward With Screencasts

Rui Alberto Jesus (Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Politécnico e Universitário, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch017
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Abstract

Feedforward is an educational strategy in which a professor gives orientations to students, prior to a certain task or assessment, in order to show them how to perform well in that upcoming task. This chapter explores the contribution of screencasts as one possible solution to providing feedforward. A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, including audio voiceover. If well planned and recorded, screencasts can expose students to the common errors in a certain field, as well as to the best practices that avoid or correct those mistakes. This chapter tests the following hypothesis: students who were exposed to feedforward with screencasts (experimental group) had better grades than those who did not see these common mistakes screencasts (control group). The students were Portuguese undergraduates of physiotherapy, taking a course of Inferential Statistics. The results show that the 48 students in the experimental group achieved an average of 11.64 (in a scale of 0 to 20), significantly higher than the average of 9.96 of the 41 students in the control group.
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Introduction

One of the ways a student has to learn is through the feedback that the professor gives him, in relation to some activity that he has performed. If this activity is not a final assessment, the student can take advantage of feedback not only to learn but also to improve his or her grading in future assessments. However, if the evaluation is a final one, there will be no time to receive feedback from the professor, and the opportunity to correct poorly assimilated learning is lost.

This is where FeedForward comes in, as a strategy that the professor can use not only to comment on the past and present behavior of the student, but mainly to anticipate his future one. In other words, what the student should do and avoid in the evaluation to come, in order to approach the behavior of an expert in that area of knowledge. Here the emphasis is on trying to avoid the common mistakes that learners usually make when they are learning a new area of knowledge, that is, when they are trying to model the behavior of an expert in that area.

Feedback allows you to treat mistakes as learning opportunities, rather than just failures. Feedforward also allows you to treat (common) errors as opportunities to get a better grade in the next assessment.

In this chapter, the author explores the contribution of screencasts as one possible solution to providing feedforward. A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, including mouse movements and clicks. Also known as a video screen capture, screencasts can include audio narration to explain the process that is being documented by the screencast. If well planned and recorded, screencasts can expose students to the common errors in a certain field, as well as to the best practices that avoid or correct those mistakes. Due to its multimedia nature and flexibility, screencasts are a much richer way of providing feedforward that the written form.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Screencast: Digital recording of computer screen output, including audio voiceover.

Feedback: Information provided by an agent (usually, a professor) regarding aspects of one’s performance or comprehension.

Feedforward: Tips and orientations given prior to a certain task or assessment, in order to show the students how to perform well in that upcoming task (e.g., how to avoid common mistakes).

Moodle: Open source learning management system used by all types of schools and training centers, to add web technology to their courses.

eLearning: Contraction of electronic learning. Interactive training, available through the Internet or other means of electronic communication, making the learning process independent of time and place.

Flipped Classroom: Educational approach in which the students gain their first exposure to new material, at distance and autonomously, before class meetings (e.g., by watching videos at home); and then, during class time, students apply and develop their understanding of the material with the professor’s help and expertise.

Blended-Learning: Instruction that is given partially face-to-face in the classroom, and partially at distance.

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