Using Video for Assessment

Susan Fairest and Jill Machon decided to use video assessment for a piece of group work to make it more exciting for the students. The raison d’etre for choosing this method was that “At Level 5 they get a lot of group work and they really don’t like it, and it’s all the same.” Sue Fairest

Using video created variety and also gave students practice in presenting to camera; a skill increasingly required for recruitment, Skype interviews and creating content for industry.

Students benefited as they were able to have multiple attempts at creating the perfect presentation. It allowed them to do this in a less stressful environment away from lecturers.

Using video allowed for creativity in the presentation of the content. One group used a green screen to place themselves on the production line at Jaguar Land Rover.

The benefits for staff were that they no longer had hours of classroom-based assessment; they could choose how and where they watched the videos.

The challenges were several.  Students were afraid, very afraid.

  • There was a fear of YouTube to be overcome, and there was a cultural aspect to this as YouTube is blocked in China.
  • The solution to YouTube fear was the use of SHU individual student YouTube accounts (yes, they all have one!), and controlling the privacy settings on their videos so they weren’t ‘public’. Only the group and the tutor had the link.
  • There was a fear of using video technology. Arguably, students haven’t chosen to learn video filming and editing skills, should we be ‘forcing’ them to do so? However, the same argument could have been made years ago about PowerPoint… Although they were not marked on their video production skills, but on the content, they were still required to engage with video technology.
  • The solution was to choose a video technology that took only a few minutes to learn. YouTube Capture is extremely straightforward in that you film, edit and upload to YouTube all within the app. Excellent YouTube Capture step-by-step guides and short video tutorials are available online:
  • The fear of visibility. Students appear happy to have their selfie photos and videos plastered over social media, but were shy about appearing in an assessment.
  • The solution to this was autocratic control – they had no choice; it was part of the assessment requirement.

After overcoming all the obstacles, the feeling was ‘Yeah, glad we did that’.

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Google Drive

Open your Staff Google Drive.

50GB of cloud-based storage space to keep all of your files. Access your work from any device and share your work between colleagues and collaborate on projects.

Google Drive’s inbuilt suite of ‘apps’ allows collaborative working, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings and data capture through Forms using the following ‘Apps’.

  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Slides
  • Forms
  • Drawings

To login to your Google Drive, go to the Staff Intranet and click on the ‘Online Tools and Email’ link on the left-hand navigation menu and then click on ‘SHU Google Apps’ (see below). If you have already logged in to the university’s system you will go straight to your Drive, otherwise you will need to log in.

Access Google drive

To access your Google Drive from the internet navigate to or click the link and click Go to Google Drive.

Access Google Drive

Input your email using the following format: Click next.

Log in to Google Drive

You will be re-directed to the Sheffield Hallam University login screen. Enter your username and password and click login.

Log in with your usual username and password

This will log you into the home page of your Drive.

Log in with your usual username and password

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The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team in SBS have recently set up a Twitter account to announce new blog posts on the SBS TEL blog site, highlight any interesting articles that may occur through technology blogs we follow as a team as well as being able to answer questions from you about any technology we promote, any problems you may be having and be able to help you even when you’re away from campus!

In the future, once we have built up a stable following, we will hopefully use the Twitter account to see what training sessions you would like to see more of from us as well as how you are engaging with them so far! Whether they are too easy, just about right or too difficult so we can pitch our training at more levels so you can gain the most from these sessions!

Come along and give us a follow if you have a Twitter account!


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Office 365 – free to all staff and students

Office 365 is now available to all staff and students at Sheffield Hallam University.

It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote and more, available for offline and online use.

Our subscription entitles you to:

  • Install Microsoft Office on up to 5 Windows PCs and Macs
  • Unlimited access to the online and mobile app versions of Office
  • 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive for business – a safe place to store most University files which can be used in line with the University’s cloud storage policy.

To Office 365, please visit

Link to SHU Office 365 login Help Slides

Log in using your username in the format and your normal University password. Your username is the code you use to log into your University account – eg if you log in using the code dsmf then input

Please note: To use your One Drive on an iPad you must first log in to One Drive on a PC or Mac for Microsoft to open your account. Once completed, documents stored in One Drive can be opened on an iPad.

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Zipping Office documents

Zip logo

Zip files can be used to combine and compress documents to be emailed but the .zip extension can also be used to deconstruct Office documents.

Why would you want to deconstruct an Office file?

Most people will have no reason to deconstruct a file in to its component parts on a day to day basis, however it is useful if you wish to extract the images from a PowerPoint, Word document or convert an Excel file over to a .xml file for web use.

This effectively means that all the images are stripped out and saved in a folder as the original jpegs, ready to be re-used and re-purposed. If you have videos embeded from YouTube it also allows you to interrogate the .xml file for all the pages and find the link to any video you may have lost the link to. It does mean wading through code to find it, but once you know what you are looking for it’s a quick way to find the links to relevant content.

Zipping a PowerPoint file.

  1. Make a copy of the file you wish to deconstruct
  2. Change the extension from .pptx to .zip
  3. Create a new folder
  4. Open the .zip file you have just created and copy the contents over to the new folder

Zipping files

You can now look at the component parts of your PowerPoint. All the images will be found in a folder called ‘media’, usually in a folder with the name of the document, ppt or word.

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Control access in Google Drive

Want to give someone access to a folder or document for a time-limited period?

Want to create a shared folder with students for assessment, with the ability to turn off access after submission deadline automatically?

This Google Script may just be the solution. Now I know the mere mention of script of code may put some people off, but bear with us. All you are doing is copy & pasting the link to the folder, and adding a date, and Google’s clever script will take care of the rest

google drive folder access


you then simply select Run > Start and this will take effect from the date and time you select. It’s a great way of controlling who accesses your shared information, and can be set up way in advance.

If you would like more information – contact Jason Ruffell

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Want original images, royalty free?

OK so unless you are an ace photographer with a lot of time and patience, chances are you won’t have a host of stunning high quality images to hand. are offering

Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. 10 new photos every 10 days.

All you need to do is sign up with your email address and images such as those displayed below in the slideshow will be sent to your inbox every 10 days

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Create QR Codes

What are they?

QR codes are like a online barcode that consists of a mix of squares, which act as a link to a webpage. These codes can be scanned via smart devices and the person scanning the code will be taken to the URL link.

How do I create them?

We have created a how-to guide detailing the steps how to create them. This can be found here 

How can I use them?

You can use QR codes in a number of ways, here are a few examples;

  • To link to a website
  • To bring a poster to life, by having some A/V content linked via the code
  • To capture information via a form
  • Register for an event
  • To create an electronic business card.

qr code

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Voting Systems

Voting Systems

Classroom Response Systems are a great way to encourage interaction and engagement in learning environments.

This post will look in brief at 5 Voting systems:

  • Turning Point Technology with clickers & ResponseWare
  • Socrative 2
  • Nearpod
  • Poll Everywhere

You can create a Poll in all of them, so it is a case of ‘Horses for Courses’; choosing the one that best fits your requirements.

Voting Systems (free versions)

SocrativeTurning Point
with clickers
Number of participants?50As many clickers as you have.

With Response
Ware, as many devices as you have
Wifi needed?YesNo for clickers

Yes for Response
Can users ask questions?NoNoNoNoYes
Anonymous users?YesYesYesYesYes
Named users?YesYes -
but not easy with clickers. Easy with Response

Turning Point with ResponseWare

Turning Point with ResponseWare

 Turning Point Technology

Turning Point Technology uses software that you download onto your computer. At SHU you can download this yourself. (The SBS TEL Team can supply you with step-by-step instructions/ screencast if you’re interested).

Traditionally, Turning Point worked with hardware including a receiver dongle which is plugged into the computer, and clickers. Participation is limited to the number of clickers you have. (For SBS, Turning Point sets can be booked from the TEL Team.  The hardware is installed in the Peak and Pennine lecture theatres.)

ResponseWare allows students to use smart devices to respond to Turning Point interactive questions. SHU has a ResponseWare license, and staff need to contact ithelp to get an account. ResponseWare makes it easier to respond to text questions and have named participants.  Both clickers and devices can be used in conjunction with each other.

Interactive Turning Point polls are embedded in PowerPoint slides. The advantage of this is that you can poll your audience seamlessly within your PowerPoint presentation. Creating the interactive slides involves some preparation, but is quite straightforward.  You can add countdown timers to slides to limit polling time, choose from a variety of graph displays, and add correct answer indicators.

Turning Point graph

Turning Point graph


If you want text answers it is best to use ResponseWare which uses smart devices, rather than Turning Point clickers; which are better suited to multiple choice answers. If you want named participants, use ResponseWare as students can sign in.

Results can be saved in a spreadsheet report.

Link to Turning Point Blog post.

Turning Point key functions

Clickers: clickers and dongle.

ResponseWare: Smart devices.
Turning Point can be downloaded onto University computers from Start Menu/ or from website at home.
Number of participants?
Clickers: as many participants as you have clickers. Peak and Pennine lecture theatres are equipped with the hardware.

ResponseWare: it depends on the number of devices.
PowerPoint Turning Point needs question preparation through Turning Point. Basic--> intermediate level.
Clickers: No

ResponseWare: Yes
Can users ask questions?
With ResponseWare, only if you created a Poll e.g. 'Any Questions' with text answer.
Anonymous/Named users?
Clickers: both - but cumbersome to set up a participant list and assign specific clickers to specific participants. Use it anonymously.

ResponseWare: both. Students can sign in.
Yes. Group Reports emailed to you.


Socrative icon

Socrative icon

Socrative is a student response system that uses devices with Wi-Fi, like smart phones, tablets and computers. The teacher creates a virtual ‘room’ which the students join to take part in quizzes and polls. On the free version participants are limited to 50.

Socrative dashboard

Socrative dashboard

  • Some features of Socrative:
  • The interface is clear, attractive and easy to use.
  • Students can add their names, or you can keep it anonymous.
  • Teachers can pre-make quizzes, or create quick questions spontaneously.
  • Correct answer feedback is available after students submit an answer.
  • A fun feature of Socrative is that students can compete in teams (Space Race).
  • Results can be shown on the screen in real time.
  • Images can be added to questions.
  • Quizzes can be teacher or student paced.
  • Reports come in 3 forms: 1) Whole class Excel 2) Individual student PDF – Yes, Socrative can save you marking time! 3) Question specific PDF.

Link to Socrative Help Slides

Link to Socrative Blog post

Socrative key functions (free version)

Smart Devices.
Browser & App
Number of participants?
Quick Poll needs no preparation. Quiz creation/importing needs some preparation - Basic skill level.
Can users ask questions?
Only if you created a Poll e.g. 'Any Questions' with text answer.
Anonymous/Named users?
Anonymous - Yes. Names - Yes (students sign in)
Yes. Group report/ individual report/ question report. Socrative 2 can do your marking for you! Emailed to you/other sharing platforms.


Nearpod icon

Nearpod icon

Nearpod is a web-based presentation utility that can do many more things than run polls and quizzes; it can deliver whole lessons of teacher-paced content, including images/texts/web pages/video/audio/ PDF documents and Twitter stream – although many of these functions are only available on the paid version. However, it also has activity-based content like polls and quizzes built into it, as well as the ability for students to draw and respond to open questions.

So, because of this rich functionality, to use it just for a quiz or poll may be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  Also, on the free version participant numbers are limited to 30 – so Socrative is comparatively superior with 50.

Polls can be created and embedded in the presentation with the ability to view the live results. An image can be added to questions if required.

Teachers create a Nearpod presentation within their account, and are given a pin when they launch it. Participants open the Nearpod app/Browser and type in the pin, which downloads the presentation to their device.

Reports are presented with clear graphics, and have session and individual details:

Nearpod report

Nearpod report

Link to Nearpod Help Slides.

Nearpod key functions (free version)

Smart Devices.
Browser & App
Number of participants?
Pre-preparation is required. Basic--> intermediate Level
Can users ask questions?
Only if you created a Poll e.g. 'Any Questions' with text answer
Anonymous/Named users?
Anonymous - Yes. Names - Yes (students sign in)
Students get overall score at the time and access to their individual answers. You get emailed a PDF group report with how individual participants answered.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere icon

Poll Everywhere icon

Poll Everywhere is designed for live audience participation. The free version is limited to 40 participants. It is straightforward to set up an account and create a poll. Participants join your account name, and when you ‘push’ a poll out, it appears on their devices.

Poll Everywhere_how it works

Poll Everywhere_how it works

It is Browser and App based. Polls can be prepared earlier, or questions can be asked spontaneously. Images can be uploaded into polls. You can ask open questions. Participants can respond on their smart devices, or text a response from a mobile phone.  Responses come in live in real time.

Poll Everywhere graph

Poll Everywhere graph

The free version does not support saved reports, which is a disadvantage in comparison to Socrative and Nearpod.

Link to Poll Everywhere Help Guide.

Poll Everywhere key functions (free version)

Smart Devices, mobile phones that can text.
Browser & App
Number of participants?
Can type a quick question or use pre-prepared Polls. Basic skill level.
Can users ask questions?
Only if you created a Poll e.g. 'Any Questions' with text answer.
Anonymous/Named users?
Anonymous - Yes. Names - not on free version
No Data Export on free version. Group report visible on screen. Can save results as a screen grab image. icon icon is an audience engagement platform that makes it easy for anyone in the audience to ask questions and vote on live polls.

This dual function of sets it apart from the other voting systems. It has a ‘Vote’ function, in which participants respond to polls. However, it also has an ‘Ask’ function, where participants can ask questions through their smart devices.  They can also vote on questions they want to prioritise by clicking on the thumbs-up icon beside the questions. No other voting system in the ones featured in this blog have an equivalent to the ‘Ask’ function – (although it is possible to respond to an open question, it isn’t possible to ask a question at any time as you can with Questions cannot be moderated on the free version. ask question & vote ask question & vote

In the ‘Vote’ function, polls are time-limited to 31 days, so they aren’t saved for long-term future use like the other voting systems.

Participants aren’t limited by number on the free version, but polls are limited to 3 per ‘event’. (So, if you want to have a quiz with many questions, use one of the other applications). Poll results appear in real time. poll poll key functions (free version)

Smart Devices
Browser only.
Number of participants?
Unlimited participants. Instead you are limited to 3 polls per 'Event' on the free version, rather than limited on participant numbers
Can type a quick question or use pre-prepared Polls. Basic skill level. Can be integrated into Prezi.
Can users ask questions?
Yes - very easily. is created with dual function for participants to ask questions, and for Polls.
Anonymous/Named users?
Anonymous - Yes/ Can add your name on questions asked, but not on Polls.
No data export on free version. Results appear live on screen as they come in, like PollEverywhere. Can save results as a screen grab image.


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Bring presentations to life


Adobe Voice App – free in the App Store

Create stunning animated video presentations in minutes


What is it?

A free app that allows you to create a presentation, with an option to record a narrative over the top, allowing you to create simple, yet effective resources in minutes. The app allows the focus to be on your voice.

How do I get started with this?

Go to the App store, download the app (free) and away you go.


Not many – the app is only available, currently on apple iPads, with an android version coming next year and you have to create an adobe account (again free) to share your presentations. This should be rectified in the updated version of the app next year with the option to save to your camera roll and upload to YouTube.

Here’s one I made earlier


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