Video Assessments Replace Exams

Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Professor Craig Carter
Craig Carter
Digital Innovations & Tools
Online Assessments & Rapid Feedback

At a Jan 14, 2021 xTalk, Materials Science Professor Craig Carter described how he handles assessment in his course "Mathematics and Computational Thinking for Materials Scientists and Engineers" (3.039). Students in the class don’t take a traditional final exam. Instead they create two 4-minute videos. In the first video students illustrate a complex concept from the course as they would explain it to one of their peers. In the second video, students explain the code that they used to create the visual representations in the first video.

Carter explained his reasoning for using videos in his course: a video assessment allows students to demonstrate how much they have learned. In addition, similar to an oral exam, creating a video challenges students to effectively communicate their learning, both visually and orally. At the end of the semester, students in Carter’s class also have the opportunity to show their video during a ‘movie night’ and receive feedback from peers.

Professor Carter shared reflections from his students who took his course. Although the process of creating 8 minutes of video content required more preparation than an average exam, his students reported enjoying the learning process. Many alums of his course wrote to him years later to relate how useful this alternative assessment was to them.

Learn more in Professor Carter’s xTalk.


Image courtesy Denis Paiste,  Materials Research Laboratory