Beyond the Grade: Enhancing Education Through Video Assessments

As the world of education is evolving fast these last few years with the growing use of technology in and out of the classroom, educators benefit from a valuable opportunity to rethink their teaching practices to provide students with a better learni...

Times are changing…

Jean-Marie Cognet by:Jean-Marie Cognet on: October 18, 2019

According to 80% of respondents from a panel of 806 executives and decision-makers from 63 countries, Higher Education will experience a disruptive change by 2025.

Big changes are currently taking place. Many trades that exist today will soon disappear or heavily evolve in the near future and others that do not yet exist will emerge.

Depending on our educational and professional backgrounds and aspirations, we will all be students many times in our lives. Everyone is concerned, not just those in automatizable manual work.  For example, part of the work of lawyers and jurists will undoubtedly be replaced by artificial intelligence.

On the other hand, the students filling the amphitheaters and lecture halls of our universities and learning institutions are “Digital Natives” – they were born and brought-up alongside technology and expect more from it every day. Their way of learning is vastly different from what has ever been recorded in history

These two phenomena could explain the responses of the aforementioned panelists’ regarding the imminent change in the higher education panorama.

Therefore, a few questions come to mind:

  • What strategy should we adopt?
  • How do we prepare?
  • What will it take for us to benefit from these changes?

It seems obvious that there will be winners and losers, some institutions will succeed and others will see their ranks drastically reduced or disappear.

Big changes to anticipate

cours en amphithéatre

At UbiCast, we decided to evaluate some scenarios that seemed relevant to address in this article.

We believe that the transmission of magisterial -one to many- information will no longer make sense in face-to-face situations. Highly qualified teachers, must repeat themselves every year, sometimes every semester, to students who also are bored of this format in full or even overflowing lecture theaters.


The one-to-many -monolog- format introduced with the establishment of the first modern universities around 1150 A.D. in France for instance, has maintained the same basic model for over 850 years. Clearly it’s time for a change.

The role of the teacher is changing and will continue to change. They are becoming facilitators, guides for the learners who need to be led to find solutions and discover the knowledge for themselves. They cannot assume this role in an overflowing amphitheater with 500 students. On the other hand, group work, and the flipped classroom, are better suited to accommodate this format evolution. The feedback from experiences at the Learning Lab Network conferences show that students are far more involved and retain much more information if they found it on their own.

Nevertheless, The one-to-many lecture mode can’t disappear totally because students still need to master basic concepts to be able to move on to more complicated subjects in a flipped classroom setting. The way these lectures are given is evolving.

At UbiCast we think that interactive video is the best possible evolution for the one way lecture. If done digitally, students will learn at their own pace, whenever they want, wherever they want. The video must be as interactive as possible to avoid dehumanizing the digital experience. When teachers moderate students’ comments and questions instead of repeating themselves endlessly they will be better placed to assume their new role as facilitators.

Finally, learning institutions will “delineate” their courses. We think that a student will be able to achieve their diploma in one year in a conventional way, but also in 2, 3 or 5 years if they wish because the establishments will build their courses around the acquisition of blocks of competence. Students will validate them at their own pace, in order to graduate. We have seen a few initiatives are already underway to put these new approaches into practice.

UbiCast exists to develop videolearning solutions that improve student success and retention, simplify higher education institutions’ transition and position teachers at the forefront of the new era of digital learning experiences.

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