A Mercer University professor is being honored for the innovative way he gives feedback to his writing students.
The videos have helped build a personal connection between Dr. Champion and his students. And, anecdotally, students seem to receive the video feedback better and their papers seem to show improvement faster compared to when they receive written comments, he said.
“When I go to make a video, I make sure to have one to two very specific points for a student, say developing an analysis or making sure the structure of their paper is appropriate,” he said. “It helps them understand and keeps from overwhelming them.”
For this, Dr. Champion was awarded the Everyday Excellence in Student Success Award, which recognizes innovative work by faculty and staff to better serve students. The Office for Student Success in Mercer’s Enrollment Management Division surprised him with the award on Dec. 3 during a Zoom video call.
The video feedback “gives students an opportunity to really understand the feedback and connects with them in a way that they like to communicate,” Emily Halstead, director of Student Success for Macon traditional undergraduate programs, said in presenting the award along with adult undergraduate Student Success.
Dr. Champion uses the video feature on Canvas to provide feedback on short assignments. For longer assignments, he uses YouTube to give a more comprehensive view of a paper. These videos can last 15 to 20 minutes and cover everything from pointing out strong and weak arguments to differences in font size.
Advanced features on YouTube allow Dr. Champion to show the paper he’s reviewing on the left side of the screen and the feedback rubric on the right. A box with a video of Dr. Champion talking through the paper is in the lower right-hand corner.
The videos are private, so only he and the student can see them. He also refrains from talking about grades in the videos.
Dr. Champion said students seem to appreciate the videos, often responding back to him on a more personal level. A couple of students have commented on his “quarantine beard,” he said.
“What’s also nice about it is they are able to go back and revisit the feedback,” he said.
Mercerians may nominate online a faculty or staff member for an Everyday Excellence award. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis.