Recently a member of staff from one of our supported institutions interested in the use of this form of feedback contacted me with concerns over students reposting personal feedback in the public domain i.e. just as a tutor respects a student’s privacy in not publishing a student work without permission, shouldn’t students do the same. In particular they were wondering if any student declaration was needed to prevent this from happening.
My initial response was along the lines of that any feedback produced by the tutor would remain the intellectual property of the institution and any public reposting would automatically need the consent of the institution, therefore all the tutor needs to do is highlight the existing legal position rather than having students make any extra declarations. But as I wasn’t completely sure of my interpretation of IPR I put a query with JISC Legal and here was the response I got (Disclaimer: The following text is provided as information only and does not constitute formal legal advice):
The recording of the feedback given by the lecturer will either belong to the lecturer or the institution. S.11(2) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides that the employer will be the first owner of copyright, unless there has been an agreement otherwise. It could be that there is sufficient ‘dramatic’ content in giving the feedback too that there is a performer’s right in the recording too, which would stay with the academic, unless there is agreement to transfer those to the institution.
In any case, the student would need to get permission before doing any of the copyright-restricted acts, which would include copying the work, adapting it, and communicating it to the public by internet dissemination in this particular case. It may be worth reminding the students of this, and I’d suggest including an explanation that the feedback is personal and given within the teaching relationship, and so dissemination of the work would be disrespectful as well as copyright infringement. Beyond the legal issue, it might also be worthwhile addressing the underlying reasons why the student or students might want to share the feedback – is there a need for more generic feedback that can be shared more widely?
So generally speaking my guidance was along the right lines, but the information from JISC Legal not only identifies particular nuances of the legal implications but also highlights how the risk of getting into problems can be mitigated and addressing some of the fundamental pedagogy. I hard to see how advice like this could get any better.
This isn’t the first time JISC Legal have provided some first-rate guidance and if you haven’t checked out their service it’s well worth an explore. Before you think this level of support is only available to other JISC Advance and JISC related staff it’s not. JISC Legal endeavour to support anyone in the UK tertiary education sector “to ensure that legal issues do not become a barrier to the adoption and use of new information and communications technologies”.
As well as individual guidance JISC Legal have a wealth of support material. Recent goodies include:
On the 28th May 2009 I wrote a post on Generating Student Video Feedback using ScreenToaster. As ScreenToaster is now ‘toast’ I thought I’d repost highlighting screenr instead. As the process for using ScreenToaster/screenr is so similar I haven’t re-recorded the demo video, but hopefully you get the idea (I’m glad I downloaded the original and put it on vimeo ;)
In my original post I highlighted Using Tokbox for Live and Recorded Video Feedback as a possible solution to distribute video feedback. At the time I felt there were two niggling issues with using Tokbox. First there was the requirement to install the ManyCams software to allow you to display your desktop and secondly Tokbox was very slow in uploading video you had recorded. For live video feedback Tokbox might still be worth considering, but shortly after publishing the post I discovered ScreenToaster., but for recorded feedback you might do better with screenr.
ScreenToaster Screenr allows you to record your desktop without installing any software. It’s very easy to setup and the videos you create can be immediately uploaded allowing you to decides how you want to distribute and share them [You can also publish them directly to YouTube and/or download the video in MP4 format. The following video shows you how easy it is to setup and highlights some of the useful features. Even if you are not interested in delivering video feedback to students this is still a great site to record other material like demonstrations of software.
A long, long, long time ago I wrote a post Using Tokbox for Live and Recorded Video Feedback in which I demonstrated how the free ManyCam software could be used to turn your desktop into a virtual webcam to provide feedback on students work in a Russell Stannard styley. Recently my colleague Kenji Lamb was showing me how you could directly record your webcam using YouTube, so I thought I would revisit this idea.
This time instead of focusing on the use of the visual element as a tool to direct students attention to a specific part of a assessment submission (e.g. highlight and talking about parts of a word document), I thought it would be interesting to demonstrate it in a more abstract way using images to reinforcing audio comments (e.g. you did good – happy face; you did bad – sad face).
When previously looking at audio feedback I’ve been very aware that reducing as much of the administrative burden is very important. Online form filling whether it be through the VLE, other systems or in the YouTube example, can be a bit of a chore so in this demonstration I also touch upon using bookmarklets to remove some of the burden. Here is a link to the bookmarklet I created for student feedback on YouTube (YouTube Feedback Template – you should be able drag and drop this to your bookmark toolbar but if you are reading this through an RSS reader it might get stripped out).
In my original post I highlighted Using Tokbox for Live and Recorded Video Feedback as a possible solution to distribute video feedback. At the time I felt there were two niggling issues with using Tokbox. First there was the requirement to install the ManyCams software to allow you to display your desktop and secondly Tokbox was very slow in uploading video you had recorded. For live video feedback Tokbox might still be worth considering, but shortly after publishing the post I discovered ScreenToaster.
ScreenToaster allows you to record your desktop without installing any software. It’s very easy to setup and the videos you create can be immediately uploaded allowing you to decides how you want to distribute and share them. The following video shows you how easy it is to setup and highlights some of the useful features. Even if you are not interested in delivering video feedback to students this is still a great site to record other material like demonstrations of software.
Recent Times Higher Education Award winner Russell Stannard has gained much notoriety for his use of video feedback on student assignments. Similar to audio feedback (which I’ve covered in this post), Russell promotes the use of screen recorder software to record the tutor’s evaluation of of a piece of students work. For an example see this YouTube video.
I was first made aware of Russell’s work in late 2006 when this article from the THE was pushed under my nose followed by the question ‘can we do this?’. At the time I was confident that the screen recording software was freely available (CamStudio was at the top of my list), but I was unsure about how and where the video files could be securely hosted or delivered and consequently the idea wasn’t taken any further.
Two years on and if I was to be asked the same question today my answer would be TokBox. TokBox is a free web service which not only allows you to talk to your friends via a live video link but also allows you to record and send videomails.
Before I talk about how you might implement Russell’s model there is one other additional piece of software I need to introduce. A key element of video feedback is to capture the screen desktop as the tutor works their way through an electronic copy of a piece of students work. To use TokBox you need a way of streaming your desktop. The solution is to use a virtual webcam. Virtual webcam software allows you to trick your computer into thinking your desktop is a webcam (confused? – my example at the end of this post hopefully explains all). The virtual webcam software I like to use, and is which is also free, is ManyCam.
So back to the main topic – to implement Russell Stannard’s model there two directions you can take. The first option is to give a student live feedback. To do this you need to register with TokBox (it’s free) which will generate for you a dedicate link. This dedicated link can either be to the TokBox site or (and this feature really impressed me) you can embed it into your own website! You would then direct the student to the link at a specified time and talk through their assignment.
The second option is to record a voicemail message. With this option you would record your desktop as you talked through a students assignment. TokBox then allows you to email a person, or a list of people, a link to the recorded voicemail.
Worried that the perennial problem of students never checking their feedback will mean they will never follow the link to their feedback? Fear not – TokBox will email you when the voicemail has been picked up (I hope you are impressed – I was).
This video demonstrates how all of this fits together: