When COVID-19 forced campus closures worldwide, many universities turned to solutions like GoReact for remote observation. It gave students a simple way to practise and demonstrate skills online, and instructors a powerful way to observe and assess them.
But for some skills-based programmes such as teacher training and nursing education, the trend towards remote observation was in motion long before COVID.
Now, as more programmes experience the ease and effectiveness of using video to capture and assess hands-on learning—and the flexibility of doing so from anywhere—we see remote observation changing the future of skill development.
With a smartphone or webcam, learners self-record videos as they demonstrate any skill. For example, in a foreign language course, they may be assigned to record themselves speaking or interpreting the target language.
Instructors or peer reviewers then watch and evaluate student videos, giving personalised feedback using a combination of text, audio and video tools.
While the primary benefits of remote observation are simplicity (using technology students already have) and flexibility (using those tools anytime from anywhere), it offers other critical advantages that enhance the learning experience for students and create efficiencies for instructors and universities.
Because videos can be created and evaluated from anywhere, students’ ability to practise skills until they achieve mastery isn’t limited by available time or space in a lab or classroom. They can record and re-record presentations or process demonstrations, then watch and reflect on their own skill development.
And because remote observation supports multimodal feedback, instructors and peer reviewers can give more contextual critiques to help learners improve their skills.
In the example of the language learner above, feedback can be delivered using audio or video as a way for instructors to show (not just tell) students how to improve their accent, pronunciation, expressiveness and more.
Giving personalised feedback to every student takes more time than most instructors have, especially if they’re working with pen, paper and clipboard. Using video maximises instructor time through live or asynchronous observation combined with assessment tools that make giving feedback more efficient, and receiving it more effective.
In a classroom setting, instructors can record students as they give presentations in real time, checking off performance criteria, flagging crucial moments, and giving rich feedback that’s automatically synced to precise moments in learner videos.
In online or hybrid courses, students self-record and submit videos for asynchronous evaluation. Where field work or clinical practice is involved—for teacher trainees and nursing students—instructors don’t have to travel for onsite observations. This saves valuable time for faculty, and enables programmes to reallocate travel funds for more critical needs.
As universities plan for the new normal in higher education—one that relies on technology to meet known and unknown challenges—administrators are exploring tools and strategies that support online delivery for every course. That includes labs, practicums and other hands-on offerings typically reserved for face-to-face instruction.
At GoReact, we’ve introduced many new institutions to remote observation and video assessment throughout the pandemic. A growing number tell us that using video to help students develop and demonstrate skills isn’t just a pandemic solution, it’s now an essential part of their modern edtech stack.
So, while they may have started using remote observation as an emergency response, they plan to keep using it to facilitate hands-on learning in any modality, personalised learning at scale, plus greater collaboration and human connection in online courses.
Let’s chat about how GoReact can help you with remote observation for skill development.