YouTube Video Edits as Reflection/Assessment for Spanish Community Service Learning

by Ann Abbott

I try to make my reflections and tests be learning opportunities. That is, I don't just want to know what students know, I want them to learn something new through the process of taking my test or writing a reflective essay.

What's even better than that? When the product of their reflection/exam can actually be used for an authentic purpose in the community. To meet an authentic, community-identified need.

I was emailing with Ricardo Diaz this week about the interview that Allison Gattari and I did on public access radio and television. (I was letting Ricardo know how much I enjoyed the conversation and felt that we had just scratched the surface.) When he gave me the link to the CU Immigration TV YouTube channel and I looked at the page again, it dawned on me:

My students could provide editing for the videos that would increase their value for the channel. Ricardo agreed, and so my "Spanish in the Community" and "Spanish & Social Entrepreneurship" students will do the following:
  1. Watch two videos. (I will assign specific videos to each student to avoid overlap.)
  2. For each video, write a detailed summary to be used in the "description" field for the video. Do this in both English and Spanish.
  3. For each video, choose relevant tags. Again: English and Spanish. Before you choose tags, read these tips about choosing relevant tags.
  4. Then write a 400-word reflective essay in Spanish
    • ¿Qué? What were the videos about? Describe them.
    • ¿Y qué? Connect the information in the videos to what you have observed during your work in the community.
    • ¿Ahora qué? Based on your own experiences in the community, what other kinds of YouTube videos do you think would be most helpful to the local Latino immigrant community? Why? Why do you think adding this information to the videos is important?
Not only will this exam (or reflective essay, I have to decide) allow them to learn more about Spanish-speaking immigrants, immigration policies and immigration reform advocacy, they will also develop digital literacy skills. Few students know about metadata or SEO. I hope they'll be able to take that knowledge and experience to the job market with them.


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