Exit videos

Why we do this

Exit videos may seems like a small part of a project that's already wrapped up, but they can have a tremendous effect on students because:

  • They apply a small amount of pressure to finish the project. After all, the partner's waiting for it!

  • Students gets to see you again, a real live person who cared enough to pay attention to what they're doing. This bookends their experience with you during the in-person entry event.

We default to exit videos because it's really hard to predict when students will finish a project. Heck, even high-functioning teams of adults can't accurately predict when a project will end! Ending the project with a video responses gives teachers and students the flexibility to take the time they need.

How exit videos work

Teachers: collect and send the final submission

Pick one project to be the final submission

The steps for picking a final submission are very similar to those for picking representative samples for project feedback, except instead of picking up to 3 samples, you pick only 1, and instead of picking samples based on their diversity, you pick a single sample that you believe includes the most of the best qualities your students have produced throughout the project.

The teacher can review all the student work and pick the best sample or the students can agree on which 1 to submit themselves. Organize all the works in progress into no more than 3 broad groups that share similar answers to the following questions:

  1. Which work product is most complete, meaning it incorporates the most of the desired features? Bonus: which skills or approaches to the project helped get the work product there?

  2. Which work product contains the most exemplary features? Bonus: which skills or approaches did these features rely on most?

  3. Which work product represents the most of all the distinct, creative approaches used on the project? While it's often not possible to incorporate every idea into a single work product, these work products do the best job of showing off everyone's work.

With the right facilitation, it can be rewarding and useful to make this a reflective class activity. If students choose the final submission themselves, they may feel more ownership over the chosen sample, even if theirs wasn't chosen.

Add the chosen works-in-progress to the folder shared with the partner

In the folder associated with the project, open the folder called Files shared with the partner. This is the same folder that holds the expert work samples from the partner.

Add the final submission to this folder. Append _FINAL-SUBMISSION to the end of the file name so Sidekick knows what it is. Sidekick will scan the files for security or compliance issues and then share it with the partner.

Partners: create a response video (template included)

Use Sidekick's Hubcap app to record the video online without downloading anything

Make sure you're using a device with a camera. Then, make sure you're using Firefox or Chrome.

Click the link you received from your project support person. It will drop you onto a page with a few settings and a recording button.

First, give the page permission to record audio.

Then click the recording button. Before it starts recording, it may ask you to give it permission to record your webcam. Give permission.

The page will load a video recorder.

Give your response to the students

Since this is the end of the project, the solution you're seeing is what you're getting, so there isn't much point in providing feedback that would require additional iterations on the solution. Instead, we have 3 primary goals:

  1. recognize the students' work and let them recognize your appreciation.

  2. give them a few general tips, framed as mistakes that you've made when you were just getting started, that they'll be able to use on their next project with you or anyone in the future

  3. (optional) open an opportunity for students to continue the relationship with you

Feel free to copy, paste, and adapt the following template for your video.

Thank you for all your fantastic work! I'm blown away by the effort you've put into this project and I'm excited to see how your work can help my organization and me.

With your team's solution in particular, I approached {{aspect_that_could_be_improved}} the same way when I was getting started. Since then I've learned to {{general_tip_trick_or_question_you_wanted_to_see}}. This is a good practice for most projects in my industry and I hope you'll be able to apply it in your future!

That aside, the way you've {{process_that_led_to_aspect_you_like}} impresses me. Your work here shows in {{aspect_of_solution_you_like}}, which will be really valuable for {{how_you_could_use_aspect}}.


Once again, I'm so thankful to have been a part of your project and glad I got to see what you came up with. I work on projects like this all the time, so if any of you felt like you found your calling or want to learn more about my work, I'd be happy to talk more about it with you. Your teachers have my email and phone number, so please get in touch!

When you're finished, type in the email that you received the recording link at and hit send.

That's it! You're done! Thank you for everything.

Get the exit video

In a final email thanking everyone, Sidekick will send a YouTube link with the partner's exit video. Feel free to use this however you'd like!

Additional notes for partners

Praise the process, not the person

In your video, help students leave the project with a positive attitude towards persisting through and learning from challenging situations. Some examples of phrases to use in your feedback may be:

  1. "...the way you've worked really hard on..."

  2. "...how you kept at it, after struggling at first, and came back at it from a new angle..."

  3. "...you approached it from several different perspectives..."

  4. "...how you've stayed laser-focused on..."

  5. "...you obvously reflected on what would be the best approach..."

We know we gave you a template, but also try to be authentic

We provide the template to get you as close to the finish line as we can, but at the same time, teenagers know when you're parroting talking points. If you can, adopt the goals of the summary feedback and spirit of the template while providing feedback true to your thoughts and personality. (If you haven't already, we recommend you check out the optional online training on how to talk with teenagers that promotes important learning mindsets.)

For some this may be the hardest thing we're asking of you, so thank you for all your hard work!

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