High Resolves x Videos for Change: An Engaging, Self-Paced, Real-World Assessment

Posted by Cora-Lee Conway on December 7, 2020

Educational research into the kind of learning output that drives equity, academic achievement, community connection and student engagement demands that educators consider many diverse criteria when creating culminating projects or unit assessments.  While we recognize that it takes much more than the right assessment tasks to meet these goals, we also acknowledge that assessments play a critical role in how student success is defined, motivated and achieved. 

We were thinking about the need we hear for assessment ideas that hit these marks when we began speaking to Cora-Lee Conway and learning about High Resolves and Videos for Change. Along with Facing History, Teaching Tolerance, and other equity and citizenship focused education organizations, High Resolves is a member of the Composer Citizenship Education Ecosystem


We’ve asked Cora-Lee to share a bit more about what High Resolves does here.  

I recently joined the team as the Program Director for Canada and despite being in the throes of a global pandemic, the resiliency of both educators and youth who have adapted under extraordinarily challenging circumstances has been inspiring. Educators are supporting students through extremely fraught times: consider the continued reckoning with racism, truth and reconciliation, environmental sustainability and the political landscape here and south of the border. There are so many educators who want to meet students where they’re at and engage them by creating space to explore the issues they care most about.

This month I facilitated virtual live sessions with grade 7 and 8 students at Kingsway College School. The students enrolled in our new online platform -a post-covid pivot from our in-person experience. The platform provides an asynchronous learning environment and presents highly engaging content and activities around issues related to leadership, critical thinking and empathy. 


Students have shared incredible insights about the state of the world within the platform and in our live sessions. Our educator partner, Grade 7 Teacher and Citizenship Co-ordinator Shelley G. had this to say about the experience:

“Our students were highly engaged in the online platform for our High Resolves peak experience. It allowed them to think critically about new concepts, share their responses, and connect their ideas with their classmates. In our debrief sessions, we were able to reflect on our learning as a whole group. I was thrilled with how all students were able to participate because there were multiple ways to engage with the content. I continue to be impressed with how High Resolves is teaching young people about independent thinking in a time when it is more important than ever”

That kind of feedback is why I’m so passionate about what we do. High Resolves has been working with students and educators for more than 15 years; our work started in Australia but now spans the globe and in 2017 we launched a national hub out of Toronto, Canada. Our focus on citizenship education has led us to design and deliver immersive and highly engaging learning experiences that facilitate the development of compassionate leaders and inspired young citizens who are resolved to make a positive impact on the world.

High Resolves Resources

To that end, High Resolves has designed accessible teaching resources complete with lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, learning outcomes and engaging multimedia to support educators who want to nurture and cultivate critical thinking skills and a sense of belonging amongst students who are increasingly looking for ways they can impact change and do something about the world they live in. As a provider of citizenship education resources, High Resolves has partnered with online platform Composer where educators can sign up for a free account and access a myriad of free resources; they can even collaborate with other educators around the world and access curated content on our most highly sought after curriculum.


In addition to self-serve resources, which are now digitized and highly accessible, teachers can also sign their class up for a professionally delivered “Peak Experiences”. Peak Experiences are designed to ignite excitement and inspire students by creating “Aha moments” around critical citizenship competencies.



Initially designed for in-person delivery, Peak Experiences are now available online; regardless of the format, it’s been incredible to see the ways in which students experience a shift in thinking as they reflect, challenge assumptions and assert more equitable ways to engage with each other and the world.

pasted image 0-3

Our approach to this work is rooted in learning science and so we are intentional about capacity building and creating opportunities for those who engage with our work to see sustainable transformation and change.


Videos for Change 

An important element of our programming is what we refer to as “Real World Application”. This is all about putting learning into practice and Videos for Change is exactly the kind of culminating project that is resonating with so many of our educator partners.



Videos for Change is a program that supports students in creating a one-minute video on a social issue they care about. There’s a lot that goes into a one-minute video from storyboarding to editing and similarly to our Peak Experiences we can now facilitate this learning experience through our online platform. Not only do students have an opportunity to learn how to produce their messages for the world, the rest of the world has the opportunity to hear those messages. The platform for this project is part of what makes it so successful. As it relates to assessment, this medium provides an opportunity to gain direct insights from youth , and allows educators to to learn what students know, in their own words and perhaps beyond what they know, what they care about. This year, for the first time, all students in North America will have an opportunity to showcase their videos together. I’m looking forward to hearing directly from our youth.  


[Teaser alert: In January, we’ll introduce a project we are planning that History, Civics Language Arts or Media Studies educators can access that encourages equity, academic achievement and student engagement. For more details email Cora-Lee at cl@highresolves.org


We hope that Videos for Change provide you with an assessment idea that centres student agency, individual choice, makes space for self-paced learning, and creates space for all students to raise their voices, stand up for what they believe in, and be #Upstanders in their own unique way. 

For more examples of student advocacy videos from High Resolves click here.


For more examples of interesting culminating assignments that give space for students to be #Upstanders:



Topics: Identity, Toronto, Video, Canada, Assessment, Using Technology, Equity in Education


This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Canada, and invite you into the discussion.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all