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Wednesday, October 26 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Developing and Sharing the Video Oral Communication Assessment Tool (VOCAT)

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We built a video assessment tool and want to share it w/ anyone who finds it useful. We want to demo it and engage what it means to be open.


The Video Oral Communication Assessment Tool (VOCAT) is a web-based teaching tool and assessment instrument developed by the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute at Baruch College. Built on an open source platform, VOCAT is a flexible, extensible, and potentially infinitely scalable web application designed to facilitate meaningful performance assessment and the collection and analysis of evaluation data in a wide range of instructional contexts.

VOCAT provides assessors a means of assigning numerical scores in response to any number of pre-defined criteria and of giving qualitative feedback (written or audio) in response to videos recorded live or uploaded to a server.  It likewise enables those assessed to review videos of their performance and to respond to feedback received. It aggregates presentations and feedback for each user and offers an informative picture of progress over any period of time. Data collected within the tool can be exported for use in statistical analysis and predictive analytics programs.

Since 2007, we at Baruch College have used VOCAT with great success to teach and assess public speaking in several courses across our entire curriculum, from Speech and Theater to Accounting and Business Policy. It also has been used to collect data for our business school's program assessment. To date, approximately 8,000 of our students have used VOCAT in 24 distinct classes (407 sections total.) We are now moving toward sharing VOCAT with others thanks to two fairly recent developments:

1) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education?s site visit team to Baruch College recognized the promise in VOCAT for face-to-face and online instruction and noted that VOCAT ?should be celebrated as a national model for higher education.?  2) The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran an article on VOCAT that focused on future possible uses of the tool in all manner of instruction (http://is.gd/dPMvTR)

With more and more institutions reaching out to us to inquire about VOCAT, we are starting to make sense of what it means to share the tool and to work toward building an active, vibrant community of developers and users.  This open science fair session will offer a demonstration of VOCAT, an in-depth discussion of its development and various technical details. It will likewise engage the audience in a discussion of possible future uses, new functionality essential for wide scale sharing and adoption, and the various practical considerations and broader implications of sharing the tool with other institutions, something that we have only just now begun to think about. The goal for us, is, on the one hand, to generate interest in VOCAT, but, on the other, to learn from the audience about what it would mean for the tool to be open and available to all who wish to use it.

Wednesday October 26, 2011 1:45pm - 3:15pm MDT
White Pine, Painted Horse, Arrowhead

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