Audio feedback – the Voices of Innovators

AF-toolkit-bannerThe following recordings have been produced by academic innovators from across the sector. Audio feedback is remarkable as a learning media for the way an essential idea has been adopted to context in so many ways. The innovators in the following recordings explain what they do, why and how you can successfully adopt a similar approach.

Student exemplars

Contributor: Lydia Arnold, Harper Adams University
Description: Using screencasting to increase access to a feedback exemplar
Media: Screencast
Model: Exemplar feedback


Productive formative feedback

Contributor: Claire Beecroft, University of Sheffield
Description: Formative visual feedback on an online activity
Media: video screencast
Model: Video feedback

Tutor team moderated feedback

Contributor: Anne Nortcliffe, formerly of Sheffield Hallam University
Description: produced by a marking team together promoting the moderation of consistent feedback. The model encourages a positive tone and is efficient to conduct.
Media: audío
Model: various, including tutor team audio feedback

Affective audio feedback at a distance

Contributor: Dina Belluigi, Queens University
Description: audio for identifying tacit value and clarity in feedback through tone of voice
Media: audio
Model: audio feedback used to supplement written feedback

Individualised feedback using Audacity and using iAnnotate app

Contributor: Professor Simon Lancaster, University of East Anglia
Description: Optional audio files for coursework and integrating audio into PDFs and its usability challenge
Media: iAnnotate app embedding audio in a PDF
Model: audio feedback

Digital Assessment Guides

Contributor: Claire Moscrop, Edge Hill University
Description: This is a frontloading approach to assessment giving a richer description of the task as its briefing. Briefing assessment tasks for use at the point of need, or rather understanding of key concepts. Noticeable improvement from the audio guides and a reduction in dependency on staff. Feedback refers to the Digital Assessment Guide. They were produced using Office Mix or iSpring.
Media: audio
audio briefing

Feedback on group reports, individual essays and class tests

Contributor: Ashleigh Fletcher, University of Strathclyde
Description: To increase engagement with feedback, increase rapport, and reduce misconceptions
Media: audio
Model: Audio feedback

Video feedback on problems for distance learners

Contributor: Ashleigh Fletcher, University of Strathclyde
Description: Providing tutorial support and class test feedback on visual problems. Enabling student self-directed review of feedback. Especially useful for addressing perennial problems that students have with tasks. It increases the time available in class. Ashleigh recommends that visualisers are a useful way of recording real time writing and she advises that a separate video file is made for each specific problem.
Media: video

Reflections on using audio feedback

Contributor: Sam Ellis, Glasgow Caledonian University
Structured feedback on reflective reports. Audacity compared to Turnitin. A repetitive review approach using adaptive release through Blackboard.
audio feedback


Contributor: Steve Dixon, Newman University, Birmingham
Description: The method uses integrated Moodle VLE recording software. This gives it ease of use – just “press the red button”. Students can download the file. Steve recommends keeping the recording short and personal. Consider where students are going to access it. Refer to the learning outcomes and comments in the student’s script.
Media: audio
Model: online audio recording and access

From audio cassettes to voice recognition

Contributor: David Baume
Description:Originally used to address his illegible handwriting in the age of the audio cassette, David records the feedback as he reads the students work. Students appreciate the reader’s eye view. There is no reason not to combine audio and written feedback – each have different strengths. Automated transcripts can be produced using voice recognition software, and transcripts retain many of the advantages of audio feedback. David recommends summarising the recording when using the read and record method.
Media: audio
Model: audio feedback with voice recognition

Assignment feedback via podcast: Pilot project on the value or otherwise of audio feedback

Contributor: Andy Theodoulides and Sid Hayes, University of Brighton (thanks to Fiona MacNeill, Learning Technologies Adviser, University of Brighton)
Description: In this study, audio feedback recordings were emailed to the pilot group of 22 students to coincide with the availability of their marked essay. The evaluation found that 91% agreed they received more feedback than when written, all felt it provided greater depth, 66% agreed it gave them a better understanding of their performance. Students commented on how the tone of voice made it easier for them to understand the meaning of the feedback compared to written feedback. Several noted how it was easier to decipher than some handwritten feedback. An average of 70 written words of feedback for each returned script compared to approximately 525 words in 3 minutes 25 seconds. (see more on the University of Brighton site)
Media: audio
Model: Audio feedback on essays