Engaging Students: Video as Performance-Based Assessment and Learning

Ellen Parks
Updated July 18 2019
video as performance-based assessment
Ellen Parks
Updated July 18 2019

America’s system of education was built for an economy and a society that no longer exists…50 years ago, it was enough to master the “Three Rs” (reading, writing, and arithmetic). In the modern world, the “Three Rs” simply aren’t enough. If today’s students want to compete in this global society, they must also be proficient communicators, creators, critical thinkers, and collaborators.

-Preparing 21st Century Students for a Global Society, NEA

There is an urgency descending on education that is both inspiring and challenging. To provide vibrant, engaging learning environments that truly prepare students to be college and career ready, educators must re-examine curriculum, instruction, resources and methodology. The next generation classroom encourages student voice, promotes student choice, as well as provides opportunity for innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. In the next generation classroom, students experience authentic learning opportunities demanding real life application of content and skills. The student experience is personalized, connecting them to knowledge and expertise beyond the classroom walls.


A US Department of Education initiative calls on schools to “equip today’s youth with the strong content knowledge, collaboration opportunities, and critical skills needed to meet the demands of an innovation economy, while preparing them to embark upon a lifetime of learning.” Schools and educators are responding to this call for re-invention in a number of ways. A prevailing response is the commitment to video as performance-based assessment. Performance-based learning helps students acquire knowledge, skills and work habits by engaging in tasks that are meaningful and relevant.


Emerging along with video as performance-based assessment is an enhanced use of video as a critical teaching and learning tool. Research has proven the many benefits of using video in the classroom. Now, as the classroom transforms to a performance-based environment, personalizing the learning experience while challenging students to analyze, invent, collaborate, connect and express, the use of video will evolve as well. Video, specifically as a tool for student expression, was once considered an extension or simply an embellishment accessed by a small number of students. The transformation of the traditional classroom exposes infinite pedagogical benefits for video that align distinctly with a performance-based learning and assessment environment. Video facilitates thinking and problem solving, inspires student engagement, promotes mastery of learning, and provides authentic learning opportunities.


Video content, supported either within or outside of learning management systems, is being created by educators to deliver assignments, to create discussion forums, to provide re-teaching material for students to achieve mastery or to flip an entire lesson. Examples from the field represent all disciplines and illustrate countless ways students are demonstrating their knowledge and skills learned by creating their own video projects, often as performance-based assessments.


The following examples of performance-based assessment were gathered from conversations with educators and members of the Kaltura community:

8 Ideas: Video as a Performance-Based Assessment across the Curriculum

1. Mathematics

Video creation is a great tool for students to use as they record working through multi-step problems on a white board or paper. Video allows for the viewer to observe all of the necessary steps taken to arrive at the solutions and creates an opportunity for students to share their work and walk through their thought process. The videos can also be used for group discussion and collaboration.

2. Social Studies

Videos demonstrate knowledge on the study of a historical figure. Students can first create a story board and then a video biography highlighting key aspects of the person’s life, including images, text and narrative.

3. Writing

Students can utilize video to orally present their writing. One of our virtual school partners requires their AP Biology students to use video for the oral defense of their thesis.


As an additional example, a UNH English professor require students to create a video project to accompany their personal essay: https://videos.kaltura.com/media/Active+Learning+With+Video+at+UNH+%7C+Kaltura+Case+Study/1_vb7hkhip

4. Reading

Students record themselves reading to demonstrate fluency. Students could also create a storyboard with their own illustrations to accompany the script.

5. Science

A common use for video assessment in science areas is for students to record themselves performing the steps of a science experiment.  Edutopia provides a great video example of this in Performance-Based Assessment – Engaging Students in Chemistry: https://www.edutopia.org/practice/performance-based-assessment-engaging-students-chemistry

6. Physical Education

A useful assessment tool for virtual and homeschool programs, video creation can be used by students to demonstrate proficiency of particular exercises.

7. World Languages

Students demonstrate foreign language speaking proficiency by creating a skit or conversation via video.

8. Health Education    

This suggestion was also taken from one of Kaltura’s virtual school customers: Students create a video to demonstrate knowledge of first aid procedures.


The versatility of video supports, enhances and perpetuates learning in a performance-based environment. There is a synergy between the characteristics of a performance-based classroom and the instructional benefits of video. The potential applications for video as performance-based assessment are limitless.


Consider using some of the highlighted examples. Please also consider adding your own examples of using video as performance-based assessment.


https://www.edutopia.org/practice/performance-based-assessment-engaging-students-  chemistry

[Reprinted from January 3, 2017]