Using student created video word problems as assessment

I'm currently enrolled in my Masters in Educational Technology at the University of British Columbia, and it's a wonderful program, I highly recommend it. One of the things we are currently looking into is something called the Jasper series, which is essentially a series of videos intended to bring real applications of mathematics into the classroom.

The series has a set up a problem in the real world (like rescuing an injured Eagle, etc...) and students are given a bunch of information in a video format. They have to decipher the clues in the videos and use them to help construct a mathematical solution to the problem, as well as justifying their final answers.

We've researched the videos quite a bit and found a lot of positive responses to the Jasper program. The videos have tended to motivate and inspire weaker performing students and have been shown to help improve test scores on standardized tests.

Unfortunately the videos are a bit out of date, and the content area of the videos is about 4th or 5th grade level only. Also the videos are quite expensive, running in at about $250 to $350 dollars EACH.

So I had a brainstorm which I wanted to share. What if each of us created a single video with one of our classes? I envision the students as the authors, actors, directors, and editors of their work.

The topics could be varied, certainly this technique is not limited to mathematics, we could do this in any topic area. We would then share the videos with each other, (plug coming up) on a file sharing site like and then we would all end up with a series of videos.

This is cross-posted from

If you are interested, either leave a comment here or on my personal blog, or send me an email through my contact form. I think I can fit this into my schedule for this year, and I'd love to see what my students can produce.

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