Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lets try audio

Well back into the swing with the vle for the new academic year and time to try out some new I thought. The Assignment submission in Moodle is a really nice feature, students upload their work, that you can access and read, then you either feedback live using the text box and award a grade or alternatively download the assignment, hi-light and add connects the upload this as a more detailed way of guided response. It was last academic year that I went along to a Partner College event and saw a presentation on using audio feedback, in fact this had been part of a JISC trial and you may like to follow this link for a lot more information, guides and case studies on the use of audio feedback, under the headings of :-

  • What are the benefits of audio feedback over written or verbal feedback?

  • Are there any specialist skills that need to be learned?

  • Is it time/cost effective?

  • How do students feel about audio feedback?

So how can you record the audio feedback? Well I made use of Audacity and if you wish to export to MP3 format then you will also need to download the Lame MP3 Encoder plugin as well, all very straightforward. Depending upon your own approach to providing feedback, whether you read the whole document first or comment a section at a time, moving over to audio really makes little difference. My first impression is that this really is a better method when it comes to giving complex explanations; ideas can be developed in real time, and lends themselves a more personalised response.   As far as sheer volume of feedback is concerned, an average word count for the audio files revealed a figure of 671, and for my typical font size this amounts to about 1.3 sides of A4, I think more than I would usually do on average, or  without doubt at or above the upper limit of my handwritten or typed feedback.

Have you tried audio feedback for your own classes, if so then please feel free to comment and share your views.



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