Using screencast software to provide student feedback

In this guest post William King from Brauer College explains how he uses screen-recording software to provide detailed feedback on student work. 

Giving effective feedback is an essential part of the teaching and learning process. The impact of feedback on student achievement has been highlighted in recent years by academics such as John Hattie who gives it an effect size of 1.13. The most successful form of feedback is by giving it face to face with your students, but in a class of 26 or more kids this is not always possible. This is where screen-capture software comes in.

Screen capture software allows you to record as if a camera was pointed at your screen. Using a microphone you can also record your voice to provide a detailed commentary. Jing is a free to download screen-capture tool that allows you to record what is happening on your screen and also to take screen-shots.

When thinking about what comments make it is important to follow a regular structure and I tend to use the Goals, Medal and Mission approach as suggested by Geoff Petty. Petty stresses the importance of giving feedback that contains real information and not just general praise or encouragement. His structure involves stating:

  • Goals: What the student should have been aiming for, which could include learning intentions or success criteria,
  • Medals: Where they are in terms of meeting those goals,
  • Mission: How to close the gap between where they are now and their goals.

It is important to write down some dot points on each of the above before you begin to prevent constantly having to re-record due to being unsure of what to say.

After installing Jing, look for the sun icon at the top of your screen and select Capture

To use Jing simply download the program. When installed you should have a small sun at the top of your screen. Open up the document that you wish to give feedback on. I usually go through the document and mark it up using the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word before recording, so that I can see the particular areas that I need to focus on. When you have marked up the piece of work and written down some basic notes it’s time to record. Hover your cursor over the sun and select the prong marked ‘Capture’. Take the Jing arrows and use them to position the recording window over the screen area (containing your document) that you want to focus on. Then click on the video button when you want to start recording. Make sure to use a microphone as this will ensure that your voice comes across clearly so that the student can hear what you are saying. It is important that when recording that you don’t re-read the whole document, but simply hone in on which areas are most important for the student to improve in.

Jing allows you to flick between documents while you are recording so it might be handy to have a copy of the assessment criteria that you can open and refer to if necessary. Don’t open and close too many screens while recording as this can be confusing. Scroll through the document as you speak and use the cursor to point out the relevant annotations. Jing will give you 5 minutes to record your feedback but I wouldn’t use more than three as this is already a lot of information for the student to absorb. When you have finished save it to the desktop or the Techsmith site.

Remember to give students a reflection sheet to send back to you with their comments on what they should be able to improve on in their mission. Jing offers an interesting source of feedback for students and also a means for providing detailed commentary. Plus it can really help if you have bad handwriting!

Thanks to William for sharing his experiences, and to William’s colleague Leanne Hampson for introducing us to his work. William makes use of Jing for recording his feedback videos but there are other free screencasting options such as Screenr and Screencast-O-matic that could be used in the same way.

The method outlined above would also be a great way to provide annotated student work samples for students, or to model writing processes. Let us know in the comments how you’ve made use of screencasting software in your classroom.



Mr Marcos and his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, California have developed a lovely set of screencasts to help teach maths. There is a choice of student or teacher created screencasts as well as videos with captions.

Teachers can use Mathtrain.TV in two ways. By using it in the classroom to help reinforce concepts taught (and for students to be able to revisit these topics at home) but by also having your own students create similar screencasts.

By creating these screencasts, students are not only demonstrating that they have learned the concepts behind the particular branch of mathematics, they are showing how they got to the answers. But perhaps more importantly, they are creating a product to share with others.

When creating their screencasts, they need to address:

  • Audience. What age level? For students good at maths or those who need extra help?
  • Script. They will need to write a script so that students viewing the screencasts find them easy to follow.
  • Visibility of sums. Will the audience be able to view the sums easily?
  • Layout. Will the audience be able to follow the working out?

They also need to learn how to use a tool such as the free JingProject to record their screencasts.

So students are learning lots of Web 2.0 skills, helping others  as well as reinforcing their own learning. What an excellent idea!

Jing update

A previous post looked at the screencasting tool Jing. The people that developed Jing have also developed a tool called ‘Screencast‘. Screencast allows users to record, store and share any content from Jing such as videos, images and presentations.

Screencast homepage

Screencast homepage has some new information about:

Screencast is free, although there are premium offerings that can cost US$99 pa. The free account includes 2GB storage and 2GB bandwidth per month. Screencasting is a great way to teach others how to use a particular computer resource or Web 2.0 tool.

Jing Project

Jing Project is a screencasting tool. What does that mean? Jing Project allows users to record output from their computer screen. So whether it’s a static screenshot or a video recording demonstrating how to use a program, Jing allows users to record, save and then share images. Captures can be annotated with arrows, text and highlighting before saving. Images and recordings can then be saved to computer, Flickr or embedded into URLs.


When you sign up to Jing, the screencasting icons are loaded onto your computer and users are able to see and access them at all times for ease of use. The icons are placed at the top of the screen and are fairly unobtrusive.

Jing’s blog gives more information about capabilities and how to use the tool. Here is a video that shows how Jing can be used.