Video as effective exam preparation

It can be difficult for lecturers to provide feedback for all students and prepare them for the oral exam. However, you can solve this problem, says Professor Anna Piil Damm from the Department of Economics and Business Economics. She has achieved good results by using video presentations that allow students to answer a fictitious exam question and to evaluate each other based on the specific learning goals of the course.

Photo: Jesper Rais

For three years, Professor Anna Piil Damm from the Department of Economics and Business Economics used videos as an integrated part of her teaching on the BA in Social Sciences (BA Soc.). At the start of the semester, she showed the students two videos of a fictitious exam situation. The videos starred herself and would have earned her a 7 and a 12 respectively. Subsequently, each student had to make three video presentations during the semester in which they had to answer hypothetical exam questions.

The presentations were then assessed by a student instructor and their fellow students on the basis of a so-called Rubric, a chart which describes the assessment criteria and translates the learning goals into more specific evaluation criteria. The two best presentations from each exercise class were then thoroughly discussed in class. This process allowed the students to make active use of the learning goals and practise for the exam - and this was an extremely effective combination, says Anna Piil Damm:

“As a student, you gain a much better understanding of the learning goals when you are allowed to use them in practise. The video presentations and subsequent evaluations also gave the students a better understanding of the subject. This meant that they were better prepared for the oral exam. Students were a lot more aware of what was expected of them and they all did well. This was really nice to see, and it was also noticed by the external co-examiner.”

Greater motivation and academic understanding

Anna Piil Damm decided to use the video and Rubric when she - for the first time - had to prepare a lecture series for a group of students who were facing an oral rather than a written exam.  She decided to rethink her lectures in order to achieve a better alignment between the teaching and the type of exam. And the results have been positive.  In fact, in their evaluations, students state that they became more motivated and gained a better understanding of the subject matter due to the specific tools.

 “I’ll definitely be using the same combination of tools the next time I have to prepare a class for the oral exam,” says Anna Piil Damm. “The planning takes some time, but this is well spent. You shouldn’t be put off by the technical aspect either, because this was actually very manageable. The IT support team were always ready to help me, and the students were well versed in the art of making videos. You certainly shouldn’t underestimate their technical skills!" 

Anna Piil Damm's five best pieces of advice if you would like to use videos in your teaching:

  1. Remember that young people are much more technically competent than we are
  2. Think about how you can clarify the course’s learning goals (e.g. through the Rubric and when teaching the students how to use the chart to evaluate each other’s videos)
  3. Plan the course well in advance and contact the IT department early on in the process
  4. Get help and advice from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
  5. See yourself as a good role model for your students when making your own videos.

Hear Anna talk about her experiences in this video (in Danish).

If you want to know more, please contact:

Professor Anna Piil Damm

Educational IT teamleder Dorte Sidelmann Rossen
Centre for Teaching and Learning
Tel.: +4587162568

If you want to know more about how to improve your small group teaching, sign up for CTL's inspiration day on 9 November.