Showcase / Production / Showcase: Students Communicate Practical Techniques Via Video / Activity: Students Communicate Practical Techniques Via Video

Gillian Fowler – Senior Lecturer – School of Life Sciences – Staff Profile


In this new approach to part of a module’s formal assessment, the conventional method of requiring students to submit an essay has been transformed. Students work in groups of four to design and produce their own video demonstrating their learned techniques and explaining the relevance of those techniques in a forensic scenario. Students then submit individual essays setting out their personal reflections on the exercise. In addition to learning new techniques, students are also acquiring skills in communicating to lay audiences, personal presentation, and digital video skills, all of which are important employability skills.

Embed video creation into physical group workshops to enhance the learning experience  The exercise begins with the students being given a Powerpoint Presentation with clear instructions on what is expected of them, along with a statement of the assessment criteria. In this case, a specific assessment method was developed for the video element focusing on how well students are able to explain the techniques’ relevance in a forensic setting, and their demonstration of the techniques. They are not marked on the quality of the video, but rather its contents. Videos are no more than 3 minutes in length and produced collaboratively. Students are also given a workshop featuring a practical demonstration of relevant techniques. In producing their videos, students can choose to use whichever technologies they prefer (e.g. smartphone), and are responsibile for forming their own groups, as well as video designs. Once completed, students upload their videos using Panopto.

Feedback from running this activity shows positive student response, both in the reflective essays and in the module evaluation. Student marks tend to be higher for those engaging in this exercise compared to the conventional essay.

Further development:

To develop this activity further, students could run a live question and answer session with a panel to explain their collection.

Methods and tools used:

To get a full understanding of the tools and methods used, please visit our activity instructions page by clicking here.