November 8, 2018

Personalized Video Feedback Following an Exam – Summary of an Article from Pédagogie collégiale

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

This article was originally published in French.

Recording personalized video feedback for a student who has failed an evaluation, is what Isabelle Chabot proposes in “La rétroaction vidéo personnalisée: une exploration de son efficacité” published in the spring 2018 edition of Pédagogie collégiale.

Choosing a video feedback method

Inspired by the work of Julie Roberge [in French] and that of Catherine Bélec, and by the use of video screen recording by her colleague Marie-Claude Lévesque [in French], Isabelle Cabot integrated audio video feedback in her teaching. She teaches psychology and wanted to use video to correct exams. However, she noted 2 disadvantages to using video screen capture to do so:

  • Having to scan the copies to mark them on the screen
  • Having to mark in a quiet location in order for her voice to be clear on the recording

Isabelle Cabot opted for a video feedback format that was more convenient.

  • First, she marked the paper version of the exam in the traditional way. She could work wherever she wished (at the college, in a coffee shop, etc.)
  • Then in a quiet location she trained a webcam on the student’s copy while she commented verbally.

Isabelle Cabot then posted the videos to a private YouTube channel and emailed a link to the video intended for each student.

A research project in Health Science

As part of a research project [in French] in fall 2016, Isabelle Cabot invited 6 teachers from her college (Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) to use personalized video feedback. The objective was to tackle attrition in Health Science. The teachers who participated taught first year math, chemistry and physics.

The teachers recorded their comments just like Isabelle Cabot did with a camera trained on the paper copy of the graded evaluation.

They only recorded feedback for the students who had failed the exam.

Sample feedback recorded by a math teacher [in French]. (The first few seconds of the recording were cut to ensure the student’s anonymity.)

Guidelines for videos

All videos must:

  • Last less than 10 minutes
  • Begin with explanations on major difficulties experienced by the student
  • Provide the student with specific exercises to overcome their challenges
  • Highlight one of the student’s achievements
  • Be sent to the student less than one week after the exam

The students are really happy!

The students who received the video feedback appreciated being able to review the explanations as often as they wished. They found that the explanations helped them to better understand their errors.

Furthermore, in quantitative terms, the video feedback is linked to improved final grades in the participating classes.


The video really encouraged me to remain in the course. It showed me that I could succeed and that my teacher was interested in my success. I really appreciated this gesture. 

A student who received personalized video feedback, as quoted from the report on Isabelle Cabot’s research project

It does represent a lot of work for teachers…

Of course, recording 10 minutes of feedback in addition to marking the paper version of the exam represents more work for the teacher.

To that, must be added the time required to post the videos to YouTube and to send each student a link by email. I have tested a similar procedure and I agree with one of the participating teachers: the process is repetitive and stressful.  Sending the wrong video to a student is a mistake that cannot be made.

Having said this, isn’t the effort invested by teachers well worth it if it contributes to the students’ success?

An inspiring practice for my teaching

I have already used video feedback to correct my students’ lab reports. I corrected the entire report in videos that lasted more than 20 minutes. Because I was commenting verbally, I wrote less on the copies.

I noticed (nothing scientific) that weaker students seemed more interested by this method than stronger students. Maybe the stronger students who are quick readers felt that they were wasting their time by listening to me correct the whole report whereas reading comments in the margin would have been just as clear for them. Thus, the idea of video commenting only the weaker students’ copies seems a more interesting approach.

And what about reusing exams?

One problem remains to be solved: once an exam question is filmed and posted on YouTube (even on a private channel) it would be inappropriate to reuse it in a future exam. Some of the teachers participating in the study believe that the fact of reusing the same questions, over a period of time, contributes to their validity.  Therefore they do not want to render the questions unusable by filming them (Cabot, 2017, p.99).

In her research report, Isabelle Cabot does not mention a solution to this problem. Suggestions are welcome! Give us your thoughts on the subject in the comment box below.

About the author

Catherine Rhéaume

Catherine Rhéaume is an editor and writer for Eductive (previously Profweb) since 2013. She also teaches physics at Cégep Limoilou. Her work for Eductive fosters her interest for technopedagogy and encourages her to try innovative teaching practices.

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