Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff
We asked Edpuzzle expert Stacey Roshan, author of Tech with Heart: Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, & Create Compassionate Classrooms, to talk about her evolution in flipping the classroom and how interactive video took her classes to the next level. Read on to find out how she uses the feedback that Edpuzzle provides both her and her students to inform her teaching, with plenty of practical examples you can start using in your classroom today!
Flipping to a Calmer Classroom Environment
When I saw my students leaving class on a daily basis with more questions in their heads than they were able to vocalize in order to feel supported in the classroom, I knew that I had to do better.
Teaching AP Calculus inspired the “flip.” I flipped my classroom to create a calmer, more supportive and inspiring classroom environment for my students. I wanted to take some pressure off, to be there to talk to them each and every day, and to have the time to do daily check-ins to see how they were doing on a personal level.
Flipping my classroom was a huge part of the solution. It allowed me to bring the life back into my teaching by off-loading the very teacher-directed lecture to homework that students could watch in their own space and at their own pace. It gave my students a voice and put them in charge of their learning.
It also allowed me to individualize and personalize classroom time – to hear students talk, see them interact with peers, and to pick up on those small details I may have otherwise missed.
The Power of Edpuzzle
Edpuzzle has been an essential tool in allowing me to understand the needs of each of my students and to guide them in the process of taking ownership for their learning.
Using Edpuzzle, I can transform a passive video-watching experience into a more active one. I can help students identify their own needs before they even step into the classroom. I can provide a space for them to type questions to me, to share concerns, to vocalize the connections they are making as they are discovering them, and more.
Before students even step into the classroom, Edpuzzle’s analytics inform how I should run class the next day and alert me to individual student needs immediately. I can then design learning tasks customized to the needs of the class.
In this post, I’ll focus on how critical I think it is to use the analytics Edpuzzle generates and provide some tips on strategies I personally use.
I make sure to embed both the multiple-choice and short-answer response types in each of my videos. The automated feedback provided by multiple-choice questions allows students to self-assess understanding on-the-spot. If they get a multiple-choice question wrong, it serves as a cue for them to rewatch that section of the video or to ask a question in class. For me, it provides a quick snapshot of areas that need more attention and follow-up in the classroom.
The short-answer questions, on the other hand, provide rich insight into how students are processing and analyzing as they are watching. It gives me a chance to prime students for what we will be talking about the next day in class.
It also provides students a safe space to ask me questions or write a note about something they want me to address in the classroom.
How I “Grade” Edpuzzle Assignments
In grading Edpuzzle assignments, I never assess on correctness. Homework is a time for students to make mistakes and feel comfortable taking risks as they are processing new information. Instead, I grade on effort.
For short answer questions where I ask students to do some analysis, reflection, or where I want them to dig deeper into a concept, I expect them to give a well thought-out reply to that question. If they do not, I take points off. I know my students well enough to identify what this level of effort should look like for each individual.
Though it is time-consuming, I think it is critical to read students’ answers on a daily basis and provide them timely feedback. In this way, students know what I am looking for and that I am actually taking the time to read what they spent the time writing. When you put in the extra effort as their teacher, they level up and put in that additional level of effort in their replies.
When students thoughtfully do this prep work, it gears them up to have a rich and dynamic discussion in class the next day. If students have had the time to sit and reflect on those short-answer questions for several hours before walking into the classroom (of course they aren't actively thinking about the answers from the night prior, but it's still marinating in the back of their minds), they’re primed for a whole new level of conversation.
Yes, grading student work in Edpuzzle can be time-consuming, but it’s an essential part of the way I run my flipped classroom and has allowed me to build a level of trust and connection with my students that is well worth the time commitment, in my view. Edpuzzle has a couple of features that really speed up my grading process, which I will share here.
First off, when I create the Edpuzzle short-answer questions, I also jot down a note of the correct answer with an explanation in a Google Doc for myself. I reference this as I’m grading so that I can provide quick feedback to students.
I grade in bulk using the summary screen that Edpuzzle provides:
By using this option, I am able to grade by question instead of by student, which makes things quicker. I still see the student name next to the answer, so I know who I’m giving feedback to. Then I can reference my Google Doc with the correct explanation, copy that, and go over to bulk respond to that question for all my students at once.
For students who had the correct response, I just click the “check” button. For students who had an incorrect answer or for answers that needed a bit more clarification, I click the “comment” button and paste in the explanation I had pre-written. I modify this generic explanation based on the student’s response. It is so much quicker to start with this “template” than to have to type out a full explanation to each and every student.
This has been one of the key tips in helping me grade quickly and to consistently provide the level of feedback that I think students deserve. For me, providing this individual feedback is a critical component; my students know I am taking the time to read their answers and they invest the time in formulating thoughtful answers in return.
Strategy: Beginning of Class Routine
One of the best tips I can share is a lesson I learned early on, which is the importance of reviewing answers from the video lesson as a full class.
When I started embedding quiz questions into my videos, I would always start class the next day with a quick summary of the answers from that night’s video, going over questions that many people had missed. But I wasn't formal about how I did this. It was just a conversation as part of our warm-up routine and then students dove into whatever assignment I had created for that in class time.
I did a survey a couple months into class and multiple students responded that they wished we went over the answers from the quiz questions in the video at the beginning of class. Now, we were already doing this!
But, quite obviously, it wasn't apparent to a number of students. And I realized why. I was making this part of class very informal. I wasn’t intentionally framing this reflective activity or stressing the importance of looking back before moving forward. Plus, students were watching a video packed with new information – there was no way they could remember all the questions they had been asked or the answers they had submitted.
Based on that experience, I decided to start each class by actually pulling the Edpuzzle analytics up on the projector in front of the class. And not only did I pull the question up, but I also pulled up where in the video that question was being asked. You can easily do this by opening up Edpuzzle’s analytics and then clicking the “Preview video” button:
This made a huge difference. Students were able to shuffle through their notes to link up what they had written down while doing the homework with what we were talking about in class.
Plus, pulling up the video with the question they had seen pop open as they watched provided a visual cue to jolt their memory and connect the homework with our class discussion. I was then able to more intentionally help students relate the homework to the assignment of the day, which – in a high-level math class – is not an easy task.
Yet again, this is another way that Edpuzzle has helped me guide students towards learning how to learn.
The Power of Edpuzzle to Hear from All Students
How Edpuzzle has made the biggest difference, however, is in allowing me to hear questions from all types of students in my classroom.
While some of my students rarely raise their hands in class to ask a question, they will use the space in Edpuzzle to get their needs met and ask questions there. Then I’m able to follow up with them one-on-one in the classroom to target and zone in on what they need the most from me.
The multiple-choice questions I embed provide both me and the student an instant “check for understanding” summary. The short-answer questions I embed give me insight into how my students are taking in the new material and analyzing and processing that information. With the analytics Edpuzzle provides, I can customize and personalize the learning experience for each student in the classroom. I use the data provided to inform how I structure class the next day – to set the tone for full-class discussion and to pre-identify necessary one-on-one work.
This personalization and the ability to give every student a voice have made Edpuzzle an essential part of my classroom.
If you’d like to read more about my approach and how I have embraced technology to deepen relationships and bring more compassion into our teaching, check out my book, Tech with Heart: Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, & Create Compassionate Classrooms.