Formative feedback using digital audio technology

Lyng, Brendan (2011) Formative feedback using digital audio technology. [Conference Proceedings]


Final year students of a BSc in Software Systems Development are required to construct a case study of a technology company over the course of one 12 week semester. The case study is divided into six chapters, submitted on a fortnightly basis for formative feedback. Overall marks have increased since the introduction for prompt and regular formative feedback, but the process does not scale well as student numbers increase. In an effort to reduce the time given to formative feedback without suffering any loss to the student, themodule lecturer has replaced typed feedback with audio, using digital audio technology to record spoken word feedback. Audio files are distributed to students using Moodle.Two alternatives have been successfully used:1. Lecturer’s voice is recorded using the iPhone2. Audio file is uploaded to iTunes3. Audio file is located on the PC/Mac using Get Info command4. File path is copied5. Using the Grading feature in Moodle, the audio file is uploaded using the Browse File option6. Student listens to feedback whilst browsing through their submission.Alternatively a PC headset with microphone can be purchased. Audio is recorded using Windows’s built-in Sound Recorder. The file is opened in Audacity, a free software product, and edited if necessary. The file is saved and uploaded to Moodle.Audio feedback possesses a number of advantages over typed feedback:1. It is much faster to record audio feedback. This is particularly beneficial when large numbers of students are making submissions.2. Students can listen to feedback and whilst browsing their submission. This was singled out by students as the primary reason for their preference for audio feedback.3. Vocal tone, cadence and inflection are lost with written and typed feedback.

[thumbnail of NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf]
NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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