Are your students participating in an event or taking a field trip, and you ask them to write a report as a result? Have you thought about using videos instead of producing a written report? I use Flip (formerly known as Flipgrid) to evaluate the students’ participation in the Salon de l’agriculture de Saint-Hyacinthe, an agricultural fair (it’s the final evaluation of the course). And I would not go back!
A “just-in-time” analysis
In Agro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, in the 5th semester, I teach the course called Réaliser des activités de formation et d’information (Implementing information and training activities).
At the beginning of the semester, the students have to visit an agricultural fair (Expo-Champs) to become familiar with this type of event. I take this opportunity to ask them to use Flip for a 1st formative evaluation so that they can learn how to use the tool.
Then, at the end of the semester, the students take part in another agricultural fair (Salon de l’agriculture). During the 3 days of the event, each student has to act as a sales representative at a business stand.
During the semester, the students need to contact a business in order to get hired (voluntary work or not) as a representative for their stand at the fair.
During the 3 days of the Salon de l’agriculture, the students interact professionally with the customers at the stand. They also have to make a critical analysis of the stand they worked, according to specific criteria seen in class. This activity is the final evaluation of the course.
Some businesses have the student be responsible for presenting a specific product. In other cases (for example, when the student had already been an intern at the company), the student is able to present all products to the visitors.
In addition, the student needs to actively participate in the assembly and disassembly of the stand.
In the past, I would ask the student to create a written report to analyze their experience at the Salon de l’agriculture. I would ask them metacognitive questions such as:
- What did you change in your approach after the 1st day?
- What did you change in your customer-based approach during the 2nd day?
- What was your biggest challenge at the beginning, and what did you do to face it?
However, over time, I noticed that the students were struggling to answer my questions. They were not writing their assignments as they were working, so they could not remember the details afterward. This is why I thought about using Flip (formerly known as Flipgrid).
With Flip, I ask the students 2 questions that they have to answer on the 1st day of the fair. They have 24 hours to answer. Then, the students have to respond to 2 additional questions on the 2nd day. Likewise on the 3rd day. Everything is always fresh in their mind!
I duplicated for you the list of questions (in French) I ask my students on Flip. You can also watch the introductory video I created to present the instructions. (You need to sign in with a Microsoft, Google, or Apple account to access the content.)
Reassuring the students who are uncomfortable on video
Initially, I was expecting all my students to be comfortable filming themselves in an era of TikTok, Instagram stories, and others. However, I realized that even if students highly consume videos, they do not produce any. Some people were slightly embarrassed by the idea of filming themselves: I reassured them by insisting on the fact that the videos would only be viewable on the Flip forum restricted to the students in the group. Nevertheless, everyone seems to have appreciated the tool.
Advantages of using Flip videos in my course
Not less time-consuming to grade, but clearer!
After the event, I watch all the videos and grade them using a descriptive evaluation grid. I have about 10 minutes of video to watch per student: the grading load is quite similar to the one of a 10-page written report.
On video, some elements are much clearer. For example, I asked the students to describe their stand and to analyze its strengths and weaknesses. With Flip, the students could film the stand while evaluating it: it is much simpler for them, as it is for me!
Students’ appropriation of the tool
Using Flip is very simple. It is similar to TikTok (but Flip is owned by Microsoft and was designed for educational purposes).
The students do not have any trouble with the appropriation of the tool. I give them a demonstration in class. Also, at the beginning of the semester, following their visit to the event Expo-Champs, the students record videos to help with the appropriation of Flip. Students answer questions and their answers are assessed as a formative evaluation. This activity is, therefore, an opportunity to get familiar with an agricultural fair and Flip at the same time!
At the end of the semester, on the morning of the 1st day of the Salon de l’agriculture, to make sure the student can access Flip without a hitch, I ask them to record a video announcing they are leaving for the event.
The videos are viewable by all the students in the groups (but not by the general public). Last year, I had 10 students in my group, but some videos had up to 80 views! It is therefore clear that the students watch their peers’ videos. It is not a problem at all in terms of academic integrity: since the students have to give their opinion and analyze their personal experience, there is no risk of plagiarism. On the contrary, it was very positive: the students could benefit from their peers’ experiences and learn from one another.
Do you take your students on field trips? Which activities have you implemented for your students to share their field experience?