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Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

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					Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................................................... 1

PROJECT DESIGN ..................................................................................................................................................... 2

PROCESS OVERVIEW ............................................................................................................................................... 3

EVALUATION AND DISSEMINATION ....................................................................................................................... 4

RESULTS .................................................................................................................................................................. 4

IMPACT ON TUTOR PRACTICE ................................................................................................................................ 5

CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................................................................................ 6
RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................................................................. 6

APPENDIX I – INDIVIDUAL TUTOR REPORTS ........................................................................................................... 8

APPENDIX II – BLOGS FROM THE PROJECT ........................................................................................................... 17

APPENDIX III – STUDENT EVALUATION ................................................................................................................. 26




                                                                                     i
Introduction
Members of the ILT team at Shrewsbury College support all the lecturing staff in their use of
technology for teaching and learning and were instrumental in embedding the Moodle VLE at the
College. They constantly seek new ways in which staff and students can benefit from its use and
prior to this project had become interested in the use of audio for giving feedback after seeing
several presentations and demonstrations at conferences. The Aspire Fellowship Award Scheme
presented an opportunity to research this in more depth. One ESOL tutor had already begun to
make use of audio as a way of providing learners with listening experience of a book they were using
for Cambridge First Certificate. This led to the idea of making use of audio to give learners feedback
on their written responses to the text.

After discussions with the ESOL tutors the central research question became ‘Do foreign language
learners benefit from audio feedback for their assignments?.’ The project aimed to answer this
question but also to explore whether benefits differ depending on the language level of the learner.

The project aimed to take good advice from other projects (e.g. Sounds Good) particularly in relation
to aspects of audio technology and audio content (length, formal/informal, with/without editing,
with/without inclusion of grade etc).

The project aimed to identify tangible benefits for students AND staff. Some expected benefits from
this project were:

        Learners able to ‘listen again’ to feedback
        Learners encouraged to focus on the feedback rather than the grade
        More opportunity to listen to the spoken word and develop listening skills
        Opportunity to provide more discreet feedback to learners asa way of nurturing and
        protecting confidence among sensitive beginners




                                                  1
Project Design
Stages
There were a number of stages to the project:

   Research - A review of the available literature and a technology review. The purpose of the
   review was to inform the early stages of the project, and help us understand what other
   researchers had developed/discovered/achieved, and how they had done things technically.

   Setup – An opportunity for the ILT team to experiment with the technology, to investigate
   various options and to share the chosen option with the tutors. The setup stage also allowed the
   evaluation process to be designed.

   Launch – A demonstration of the audio feedback process in the classroom. An opportunity to
   communicate the project work to the learners and, using a questionnaire on Moodle, find out
   from the learners more about their technical skills and their ability to access the technology.

   Go Live – The stage of the project where the teaching/learning activity took place, where the
   tutors recorded their audio feedback and made it available to the learners. An iterative process of
   activity and of feedback (verbal, written, and digital audio).

ESOL and project choices
ESOL is delivered both part-time and full-time with learners assessed at the beginning of the course
and then streamed into core skill groups ranging from beginner to upper intermediate. The
programme is then tailored to meet their specific learning objectives.

Three tutors were involved in this project:

        Kim Prior – (ESOL tutor for Level 1 and Level 2)
        Sue Watters (ESOL tutor for Entry Level 2 and 3)
        Simon Mootz (ESOL tutor for Entry Level 1 and 2, including Pre-Entry learners)
        All classes are likely to include a mix of part-time and full-time learner. The tutors chose to
        use audio feedback differently and managed their group’s use of it in different ways but
        each had several iterations of the whole process. This allowed for feedback on the process
        so that changes could be made when necessary. The tutors also proposed to use ‘control
        groups’ differently but ensured that there was exposure for selected learners to both
        written and audio feedback so that benefits could be properly assessed during evaluation.

The different choices were as follows:

    1. Level 1/Level 2 - Learners listened to a reading from a set text (audio file on Moodle) and
       then wrote their own summary; tutor marked/commented on written work (12 learners
       were involved, with initially 6 receiving written and 6 receiving audio feedback, then
       repeated so that they experienced the other form of feedback)
    2. Entry Level 2 and 3 - Learners took an end of unit test; tutor provided audio feedback on
       their results and on areas for improvement (again 12 learners with the same control group
       method as above)
    3. Entry Level 1 and 2 - Learners responded to direct questions and then engaged in observed
       discussion about topic; tutor gave feedback on their performance (6 learners were involved,
       with initially 3 learners receiving direct verbal feedback and 3 receiving 'remote' audio
       feedback. In the following session this was reversed).



                                                   2
Process Overview
The project had to make two main choices about the use of technology, 1) the choice of voice
recorder, and 2) the method of getting the feedback to the learner:

Choice of voice recorder

There were several models of digital voice recorder available in the College. The ILT team chose the
M-Audio Microtrack II for the following reasons:

        Kim Prior had previously used this model for narrating chapters of a book for his learners to
        use on Moodle and was very satisfied with the sound quality
        The ILT team had previously used digital voice recorders for other purposes and found this
        model to be the most ‘user friendly’
        The M-Audio Microtrack II had the ability to produce mp3 files with no additional software
        or conversion necessary
        Excellent sound quality and ease of connection to PC for file transfer

Feedback to the learner

The project team agreed from the outset that Moodle would be used for the purposes of delivering
the feedback to the learner. This limited the technical choices to the available Moodle modules. The
preferred choice for the project was the assignment module. Other modules allow file uploads but
the assignment module is the only one with the ability to give private feedback to an individual
learner.

Issues with the technology
There were a number of issues with the use of the chosen technology, most of which are referred to
in the individual tutor reports (Appendix I) and in the Project Blogs (Appendix II). They are
summarised here:

Voice recorder issues

During the testing stage some power up problems were discovered that were eventually traced to
the memory card in use. During the launch stage one of the voice recorders failed to record
anything. This was embarassing at the time and required a replacement voice recorder so the tutor
could repeat the demonstration. The microphone is not built in to this device and has to be plugged
in before use. One of the tutors forgot to do this on one occasion.




                                                  3
Moodle assignment issues

The use of the Moodle assignment module in this way was slightly unorthodox. In the normal course
of events a learner would submit a physical file (an assignment) that the tutor would then respond
to. In the project several assignment slots were created where the tutor posted their audio feedback
file but the learner never posted anything. The learner had to go to the relevant assignment slot to
get the feedback and could download the file from there. Because of this unorthodox use there were
two anomalies, 1) Tutors could not click Save after uploading the audio feedback file. If they did ithe
feedback file disappeared, and 2) A tutor could not tell from the lists of students for an assignment
which of them had been given feedback. Both of these were minor issues for the tutors but with
guidance, support and typed procedures they were soon overcome.

Evaluation and Dissemination
The ILT Team had experience in other projects of using blogs to record personal feedback at the time
of an event, and this method was chosen in this project to record feedback throughout. Tutors were
encouraged from the outset to blog about their experiences and the responses from the learners. An
extract from these blogs can be seen in Appendix II Blogs from the Project.

Tutors also prepared their own individual reports from which this report was compiled. The
individual reports can be seen in Appendix I Individual Tutor Reports.

The learners involved in the project were asked to evaluate the use of audio feedback. Evaluation
forms were designed for this purpose and the completed forms are included in Appendix III Student
Evaluation.

Results
The results from each tutor/group are described below:

Kim Prior – Level 1/Level 2
Ultimately, nine learners received a mix of audio and written feedback during the course of the
project. All wanted to receive audio feedback in the future, with only one learner remarking that
because of log-on problems the experience did not form a valuable part of their learning.

Six learners identified that they had learnt more from audio and seven found it more useful. In their
feedback they commented that they ‘remembered corrections easier’, experienced audio as ‘more
like an individual lesson’, that the explanations given by the tutor were more detailed and easier to
apply, and that they enjoyed the experience of listening both in its own right and as a way of
improving pronunciation, and therefore paid more attention to the tutor’s comments.

What was surprising was the number of times learners listened to feedback. While the majority
accessed an audio file twice, four listened to the same feedback three or more times. From this
reaction it is interesting to speculate that learners appear more inclined to access audio generated
by a tutor with whom they have an established relationship than the web-generated or commercial
files that are otherwise available. In part the ‘personalised’ element of receiving an individual lesson,
which they could access in their own time, undoubtedly contributed to the learners’ belief that
accessing audio files substantially enhanced their learning experience. However, it is interesting to
note that without tutor prompting some learners utilized audio feedback both as a pronunciation
resource and for listening practice.




                                                    4
Sue Watters – Entry Level 2 and 3
Twelve learners received a mix of audio and written feedback during the course of the project. Only
five of them preferred audio feedback to written feedback. Some students said they felt it had been
positive and that it had enhanced their learning, whereas others said they didn’t like it and it had not
helped them.

It was the younger students who showed more enthusiasm, probably due to the fact that they were
more confident computer users. Login in difficulties (forgotten passwords, etc) also put students off.
If they tried to access the feedback once and were unsuccessful they were put off from trying again.

 As with anything new there are always teething problems and it was felt that audio feedback could
have a valuable place in the classroom. The most negative feedback did tend to come from the older
students who didn’t feel as comfortable with modern technology. They were reluctant to try and
download the feedback onto mobile phones, MP3 players, etc, whereas some of the younger
students thought it was great to be able to do this.

Audio feedback could be a valuable tool in the ESOL classroom, particularly when giving complex and
long winded feedback. The key to its success is having confident computer users. Future uses of
audio feedback in the ESOL classroom could be dictation (read by the tutor) for the students to do at
home, and then corrected in class. Also pronunciation practice and various listening exercise. It gives
the learner an opportunity to take home the teacher’s voice and extend the classroom.

Simon Mootz – Entry Level 1 and 2
As expected, the real challenge for this group was collecting learner feedback as limited language
skills were a major obstacle to expressing feedback. Despite a simplistic feedback form template and
reiterated directions on what they were evaluating their feedback still seemed to evaluate their
performance in the speaking task rather than the method of tutor feedback. However, there were
tangible expressions of positives about using the computer and about the improved privacy offered
by listening to feedback on a pc via headphones.

The learners responded well to the use of computers. Interestingly learners from lesser developed
countries were also comfortable with using computers.

Two learners took notes on their own initiative while they listened to their digital feedback on
headphones. Significantly they had not previously attempted to take notes when receiving feedback.
This raised the interesting question of whether they were more focused, listening more intently, to
recorded feedback. Did the use of technology lend more ‘authority’ to the feedback in their
consideration?

The Tutor and learners undoubtedly benefited from a standardised feedback structure when given
as part of the digital feedback. Prior to this experiment personal feedback had been given in a less
structured way from short notes taken during student speaking practice, necessitated by the
immediacy and spontaneity of direct personal feedback. Recording the session and working to a
scripted feedback sharpened the approach and allowed more analytical assessment leading to more
succinct feedback.

Impact on Tutor Practice
The tutors who took part in this project were each convinced that their own practice could be
enhanced by the use of digital audio, either for feedback to learners, or in other aspects of their



                                                   5
teaching. Here are some of the tutors’ responses to the question ‘How might if affect or change your
practice?’

    “As a way of delivering feedback on writing tasks, where I judge its use would be beneficial,
    audio should become an integral part of my practice and be extended to include the full range
    of writing activities”

    “The project has opened a potential for tutor delivered audio material and I foresee extending
    its use to grammar, delivering online bite size one-to-one lessons designed to meet the needs of
    a specific learner, as a way of introducing learners to idioms and as a way of adding user-friendly
    Citizenship activities. The list is really only dependent on time and creativity”

    “Future uses of audio feedback in the ESOL classroom could be dictation (read by me) for the
    students to do at home, and then corrected in class. Also pronunciation practice and various
    listening exercise. It gives the learner an opportunity to take home the teacher’s voice and
    extend the classroom. Audio could be a valuable tool in the ESOL classroom, particularly when
    giving complex and long winded feedback”

    “Extended application was made by using the mp3 player to record other classes where there
    were too many learners (in a multilevel group) to allow me to feedback during the lesson.
    Recording their speaking practice allowed me to listen after the class session and thereby
    broaden the scope for feeding back. This development was a knock-on improvement in my
    practice resulting from the Aspire Project”

Conclusions
Comparing results to the central research question:
‘Do foreign language learners benefit from audio feedback for their assignments?’

From this trial it appears that foreign language learners benefit from audio feedback in that they
believe they learn more from it and find it more beneficial. These responses may be subjective but
are nonetheless significant in delivering extra ‘value’ to the learning experience, and may well also
contribute to enhanced motivation. However, the size and length of the trial was inadequate to
make more concrete judgements as to the practical benefits to learners and whereas use of audio
was popular with L1/L2 and E1/E2 task groups, it was less favourably received by the E3 group. This
suggests that a positive response may be task specific, in that learners understood and bought into
audio feedback for an extended writing task, where comments in detail and alternative textual
approaches are most useful, and found it more sensitive to their concerns when dealing with an oral
task. This was not true of other language tasks. Again there are questions regarding how far E1/E2
learners understood their part in the evaluation process. Nonetheless, the trial proved that audio
feedback can be popular and provide a valuable tool to enhance second language acquisition.

Recommendations
The project team make the following recommendations:

        Use a larger sample group to improve analysis of learner feedback
        Extend use of audio feedback to include oral exam tasks at all levels, utilizing the
        standardized feedback structure developed by SM
        Employ audio feedback for writing tasks across levels throughout year in order to enable
        more rigorous assessment of the benefits to learners
        Trial the same levels using a range of tasks in order to test task specific hypothesis


                                                  6
       Trial different levels using the same kind of task against and compare learner evaluation
       accordingly to age, previous educational background, etc.


For lower level learners:
       Improve learner feedback/evaluation template- perhaps combine both onto one sheet so
       that it is clearer that they need to compare the 2 methods of tutor feedback rather than
       their content
       Do more speaking exam practice before the experiment to ensure that learners are less
       likely to evaluate the task and more likely to evaluate the feedback methods




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Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Appendix I – Individual Tutor Reports


Aspire Project Report 2010- Audio Feedback                                             Sue Watters
After being approached by Richard and Dave to take part in the above project, I then had to consider
how and when I would use this type of feedback.

My learners were intermediate (Entry 3) level and all of them were computer literate to varying
degrees. It was a class with a variety of nationalities and ages. After some consideration I decided
that aural feedback for their end of module tests could be an opportunity to experiment with this
type of feedback. My usual method was to mark each test and then give detailed written feedback
for each student, which was time consuming. Also the written feedback was then sometimes
enhanced by individual face to face feedback if there was too much to write. Could aural feedback
replace this?

My first concerns were about accessing the feedback. Most of the learners only came to college
once or twice a week, and most of them did not access Moodle on a regular basis for numerous
reasons.

 I introduced the research idea to the learners which received a positive response. After which
Richard and Dave came into the classroom to help everyone log on and access Moodle. After various
logging on problems, mostly related to lost passwords and students not being on the system, all of
the learners were able to access Moodle and were then shown how to access an audio file.

I decided to split the class into two, so that for the first test one half would have audio feedback and
the other half normal written feedback. This was done mainly for two reasons; firstly I wanted the
students to have experience of both written and audio feedback within a certain time frame, so both
methods were reasonably fresh in their minds when they came to fill in the questionnaire. Secondly
it was more manageable for me.

After the first test in class I gave the first group their audio feedback. I returned their marked test
papers with marks but no feedback or written comments. I asked them to go on Moodle and access
their feedback. Some came back with forgotten passwords, but this was easily resolved. Initial verbal
response from that group of learners was positive.

A few weeks later I ran another course test and gave the second group their audio feedback. This
time though a few of the students were absent from the second group when I gave them the test. So
a couple of students were given the test when they came back. This delayed the whole process of
the audio feedback. Also the second group had forgotten how to access Moodle. Our learners rarely
access Moodle, I think this maybe because they are part time students. Our full time students
seemed (to me) to be more willing than learners who only came for maybe 3 hours a week.

When I had finished with both groups they were given a questionnaire asking about their experience
of having audio feedback. I felt that the first group had been more positive and the second group
seem to have more difficulty. Some students said they felt it had been positive and that it had
enhanced their learning, whereas others said they didn’t like it and it had not helped them.
Interestingly the more positive responses came from the first group. The reason for this could be



                                                   8
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

that the Moodle session was still fresh in the first group’s minds so they found logging on easier. I
also noted that the second group’s average age was higher. Could age be a factor?

This was an interesting project and I feel that audio feedback could be a valuable tool in the ESOL
classroom, particularly when giving complex and long winded feedback. Students can keep a copy
and listen to it wherever and whenever they want to. I think the key to its success is having
confident computer users. The fact that the password expires every month does put students off
because they forget their password. Also some of our students do not have access to a computer at
home and do not have time to stay at college due to work commitments.

 Future uses of audio feedback in the ESOL classroom could be dictation (read by me) for the
students to do at home, and then corrected in class. Also pronunciation practice and various
listening exercise. It gives the learner an opportunity to take home the teacher’s voice and extend
the classroom.




                                                   9
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Professional Development – reflection and change in practice

Title: Making assessment a learning experience with digital audio

Date: 27/02/09 – June 2010 Author: Kim Prior



Background: On 27th February 2009 the ESOL department was approached by Dave Shearan (DS) and
Richard Booth (RB) (Learning Technologists in the ILT team) regarding the feasibility of cooperating
in an Aspire project submission for Harper Adams University to explore the use of digital audio to
provide feedback to learners. The central research question we would address would be, ‘Do foreign
language learners benefit from audio feedback for their assignments?’

After discussion in the team we felt that adoption of this technology offered real potential to extend
the range and improve the quality of feedback while also making it an integral part of the learning
process. A JISC-funded Sounds Good project launched in 2008 had already identified potential
benefits in our subject area:

Audio feedback was especially helpful for those students for whom English is a second language (JISC
2009: 24)

After consultation with DS and RB we chose approaches to the use of digital audio reflecting
personal views of how our learners would be most likely to benefit from the employment of this
technology. As I already use Moodle to support the extended FCE writing task, I decided to make use
of digital audio as a way of giving feedback on writing – an area in which learners can benefit
significantly from more detailed error analysis, including consideration of stylistic issues.



How have you applied this to your practice?

In the second part of the Writing paper in the Cambridge FCE exam learners have a choice of tasks,
one of which is based on a simplified set text. Of the two texts on offer in 2010 I chose The Woman
in White by Wilkie Collins (Penguin, 1999) and recorded it as a series of files on Moodle before the
start of the academic year. Each week I then read two chapters of the book to the learners in the
Wednesday Upper Intermediate (L1/L2) group and asked them to write a summary for the following
week. They were not allowed to take the text away from class but were able to access my pre-
recorded reading and listen again using Moodle. Once learners had become used to this activity, I
told them that half the class would receive standard written feedback for the next five weeks and
the other half audio, which would be personal and accessible through their Moodle log-on. At the
end of five weeks those receiving written feedback would switch to audio and vice versa.

On receipt of the summaries I marked half according to my standard practice, correcting all errors,
with written notes and a general comment at the end. With the other texts I marked in red where
errors occurred, identified them as spelling (sp), grammar (gr), word order (w/o) etc. but without
correction or comment. For these scripts I then recorded my commentary using a mobile digital
recorder and uploaded it to a previously created Moodle file.




                                                  10
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Progress on the actions above and any other ways you have changed what
you do.

Given that the scripts I received were anything from 100-500 words in length, my first task was to
decide how best to structure my feedback. Should I aim to be comprehensive or should I focus on
specific recurrent errors? In practice I quickly found myself adopting a flexible approach reflecting
my understanding of the individual learner. Usually this combined focus on a particular language
topic (use of the past perfect, articles, conditionals, back-shifting in reported speech etc.) with
detailed analysis and commentary on one or two paragraphs in the text. This allowed me to spend
time on questions of phrasing, offering alternatives which I read back to the learner and then
commented on. I thus refrained from offering a detailed error by error analysis, feeling that this
would be too time consuming for both of us.

Due to attendance and access issues the changeover between feedback groups at five weeks was
more ragged than I had anticipated. Consequently, I allowed some learners to continue with audio
beyond the five weeks while trying to ensure as many learners as possible received both types of
feedback within the project period.



How has this impacted on your learners’ experience and success?

Nine learners received a mix of audio and written feedback during the course of the project. All
wanted to receive audio feedback in the future, with only one learner remarking that because of log-
on problems the experience did not form a valuable part of their learning. (As intimated above
access issues were a persistent problem for learners, although often no more serious than the failure
to update log-on ID, which was easily rectified but caused delays in their receiving feedback and as a
result in my receipt of submissions.)

Six learners identified that they had learnt more from audio and seven found it more useful. In their
feedback they commented that they ‘remembered corrections easier’, experiencing feedback as
‘more like an individual lesson’, that the explanations I gave were more detailed and easier to apply,
that they enjoyed the experience of listening both in its own right and as a way of improving
pronunciation, and therefore paid more attention to my comments.

What was surprising was the number of times learners listened to feedback. While the majority
accessed an audio file twice, four listened to the same feedback three or more times. From this it
would appear that learners are more inclined to access audio generated by a tutor with whom they
have an established relationship than web-generated or commercial files that are otherwise
available. In part the ‘personalised’ element of an individual lesson, which they could access in their
own time, undoubtedly contributed to the learners’ belief that accessing audio files substantially
enhanced their learning experience. However, it is interesting that without prompting audio
feedback was utilized both as a pronunciation resource and for listening practice.

What are the most important things you have learned from this process?

From my trial of audio digital feedback it certainly appears that foreign language learners do benefit
in a number of ways, some of which may be subjective but are nonetheless significant, mainly in that
they believe they learn more from it and find it more beneficial. For learners audio feedback can be


                                                  11
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

popular as well as delivering extra ‘value’ to the learning experience, and may well also contribute to
enhanced motivation. However, the positive response I received may be task specific, in that
learners understood and bought into audio feedback for an extended writing task, where comments
in detail and alternative textual approaches are most useful. This may not be true of other language
tasks.

How might it affect or change your practice?

As a way of delivering feedback on writing tasks, where I judge its use would be beneficial, audio
should become an integral part of my practice and be extended to include the full range of writing
activities.

What would you like to develop further and how could this development
happen?

The project has opened a potential for tutor delivered audio material and I foresee extending its use
to grammar, delivering online bite size one-to-one lessons designed to meet the needs of a specific
learner, as a way of introducing learners to idioms and as a way of adding user-friendly Citizenship
activities. The list is really only dependent on time and creativity.

JISC. 2009. Effective Practice in a Digital Age. HEFCE.




                                                  12
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

                              [Type the document title]

1) What happened/worked/failed (adapted from my blog):

Tues 26 Jan: The project was launched: I had spoken to the four selected students before
Richard and Dave came to the class. Some of the language required to explain our
experiment was difficult to simplify. Once R & D joined the class we recapped about the
experiment - this was useful to reinforce, with a second run through, what we were
intending to achieve. There were some very minor initial log-in obstacles (despite having
used Moodle only a few weeks ago, learners had forgotten their passwords). This was
quickly surmounted by Dave and Richard.

Dave and Richard helped the learners to complete a quick technology questionnaire which they did
well. Mime and paraphrasing easily conveyed meaning of new vocabulary- 'headphones',
'access' and 'memory stick'- some learners We then demonstrated the process. They
understood how their speaking practice would be interlocuted and then assessed later-
their tutor’s feedback being provided digitally and uploaded to the online assignment
feature on Moodle. There the learners would be able to listen to the audio feedback.had
prior knowledge of these.

 Demonstration was given of an example recording of feedback and where to access it on
Moodle. Good support was given by Dave and Richard- all went smoothly. Learner
comprehension was evident from their feedback and questions. Generally, a successful
launch!

Thurs 11th Feb: I ran a couple of pilot sessions with students to trial the recorder paces and
get the learners used to being recorded. I made three observations during the session:

a) The quality of the recording was excellent. Foreground discussion was crisp and sharp
while background classroom noise was negligible during playback. This demonstrated that it
is viable to record paired sessions while other learners within the class carry out other,
active, studies. I have more faith in the ease-of-use of the kit: pleasingly simple to download
and rename files.

b) The 'White Coat Syndrome' of being recorded was clearly a cause of slight discomfort (for
all involved). However, this distortion is not necessarily unwelcome. As the learners grow
increasingly comfortable and familiar, both around each other and with the tutor,
complacency can set in to their performance. An easy, cosy environment will not yield best
preparation for the stresses of formal external examination in July. Perhaps the presence of
the recording equipment helps address this by lending an 'edge' to the session. This tension
could be beneficial in preparation for the inevitable anxiety of the actual examination. Might
the learners' discomfort at the digital recorder's presence- almost a third party in the
proceedings- mirror the discomfort at the examiner's presence during the formal exam?

c) It was evident that the learners needed more practice with the format and procedure of
the assessment before we could record the sessions for meaningful feedback.



                                                13
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Tues 23 March: Difficulties with attendance slowed progress. To get around this problem I
recorded many more sessions than originally intended. I even ran 'dummy' learners to try to
maintain recording sessions. The unplanned advantage arising from this was that the
learners all had experience of both practice assessment and being recorded/listening back
to recordings. Beneficially, this could help in providing more reliable data in learners’
feedback on the experiment in that their responses won't be skewed by relating to
something experienced for the first time rather than making an informed comparison.

I made an error in recording by failing to put the mic in before one of the sessions. I put this
down to (in) experience- all part of getting familiar with the kit. Recordings only took about
3-4 mins so not too much inconvenience to anyone.

___________________________________________________________________________

2) Evaluations and Conclusions:

           The technical process was easier than I had anticipated.
           There were some difficulties in accessing MOODLE but this is an ongoing
           challenge in encouraging learners to take responsibility for retaining their
           usernames (carrying their ID cards would assist) and recalling their passwords
           (this difficulty has been alleviated by the ease of refreshing passwords from the
           machine dispenser on B-floor. This challenge is a general ILT matter and not a
           specific problem with this experiment. Greater use of ILT/MOODLE can only help
           to overcome these teething problems!
           Learners responded well to the use of computers- learners from lesser
           developed countries were also comfortable with using computers
           Little learner support was needed to access their recorded feedback  This
           process embedded valuable ICT skills and vocabulary building ‘scroll up/down’,
           ‘click’, ‘min/maximise’, ‘return’, ‘log in/out’, etc
           As expected, the real challenge was collecting learner feedback as limited
           language skills were a major obstacle to expressing feedback  despite a
           simplistic feedback form template and reiterated directions on what they were
           evaluating, their feedback still seemed to evaluate their performance or the
           speaking task rather than the method of tutor feedback. However, there were
           tangible expressions of positives about using the computer and about the
           improved privacy offered by listening to feedback on a pc via headphones
           Extended application was made by using the mp3 player to record other classes
           where there were too many learners (in a multilevel group) to allow me to
           feedback during the lesson. Recording their speaking practice allowed me to
           listen after the class session and thereby broaden the scope for feeding back.
           This development was a knock-on improvement in my practice resulting from the
           Aspire Project
           Digitally recording sessions will also become a regular part of my practice and
           will benefit learners by simulating exam formality


                                                14
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

           Two learners took notes while they listened to their digital feedback on
           headphones. They did this of their own initiative. I have never before seen them
           take notes on my feedback. This raised an interesting question of whether they
           were more focused, listening more intently, to recorded feedback. Did this lend
           more ‘authority’ to the feedback in their consideration?
           Tutor and learners undoubtedly benefited from a standardised feedback
           structure when given as part of the digital feedback. Prior to this experiment, I
           had given personal feedback in a less structured way from short notes taken
           during student speaking practice- necessitated by the immediacy and
           spontaneity of direct personal feedback. Recording the session and working to a
           scripted feedback sharpened my approach and allowed more analytical
           assessment leading to more succinct feedback
           Tutor feedback to learners was also enhanced by allowing improved prescriptive
           feedback. I always try to give pointers to improvement in my feedback. The time-
           gap available in preparing recorded feedback rather than spontaneous personal
           feedback enabled me to research page numbers and detailed reference to
           resources for improvement eg aspects of grammar.
           Recording and preparing feedback improved the service to learners by enabling
           the tutor to do additional work outside the class-time. This does represent extra
           input from staff but is not an unreasonable drain on the time allocated for the
           purpose of marking

___________________________________________________________________________

3) ‘In hindsight’ / recommendations to others:
       Use a larger sample group to improve analysis of learner feedback

        Improve learner feedback/evaluation template- perhaps combine both onto one
       sheet so that it is clearer that they need to compare the 2 methods of tutor feedback
       rather than their content
        Do more speaking exam practice before the experiment to ensure that learners
       are less likely to evaluate the task and more likely to evaluate the feedback methods
        Select more reliable attendees for research experiments!

___________________________________________________________________________




4) Closing comments:

       The focus that this project has brought to my work has brought clear benefits to my
       learners by galvanising me into embracing new technologies, adding to the diversity


                                                15
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

       of resources used. I feel more confident in my skills to apply these technologies in
       the classroom. I am enthusiastic about continuing to build on these developments in
       the next academic year.
       We have shared our experience and ideas in the ESOL staff team and there are
       opportunities to disseminate our newly acquired skills/experience in the wider
       workplace. This can be achieved through the extension of recording speaking
       activities in the Second Chance Literacy team, for which I also work, and the plan to
       put together a short video of our project to share with other staff at a suitable,
       future opportunity.
       I am grateful to Dave and Richard for bringing us into the project and for their
       support throughout. I’d also like to express my thanks to Harper Adams for the
       opportunity to develop our practice and improve the learner experience in this way.




                                                16
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Appendix II – Blogs from the Project


Feedback
Wednesday, 12 May 2010, 02:17 PM

by Susan Watters

Student absence was a problem with my second grouping, I did manage to get one learner who had
been absent to do the test and gave her feedback. The other three were absent for too long for this
to be possible. Even so I still had a reasonable group of people to get feedback from. One thing I
realised when I came to give the feedback questionnaire out, was that two of my students had
absconded to Kim's group! I did get their feedback but was concerned that they may have also taken
part in his part of the project. If this is the case then I will make a note on their questionnaires so
that we can see which one they are referring to.

A disappointment for me is that quite a few of my students had forgotten to access their audio
feedback sad. I have asked them to try and listen to it before next Monday so that they can fill in the
feedback questionnaire. I suppose if they don't then I will asked them to note down why on their
forms.

The comments I have had so far are a mixture of positives and negatives. There seems to be a
correlation between age and positive feedback. When all the results are in, it might be interesting to
look at the age factor (rather than the X factor big grin) Sorry couldn't resist that pun.

Final hurdle
Thursday, 6 May 2010, 11:04 AM

by Simon Mootz

Frustratingly, a last-minute obstacle has been the repeated non-attendance of a key learner. Note to
Self: in future, think twice before including poor-attenders in research projects (although this has
lent an authenticity to the project). As I had recorded the spoken session with this learner, the audio
file provides a facility to 'preserve' this learner's work for feedback so that, on his return, he could
listen to the recording, thereby refreshing his memory of the task before listening to my audio
feedback. In reality, I thought it would be better to just record a new session with him so as to
extend his practice. Alas, he missed the following week too. This, followed by an admin week,
extends the period has extended the delay.

On a more positive note- an unexpected spin-off from the Aspire Project....

Next week, I am planning to expand my use of audio into another session. The learners in my multi-
level evening class need intensive speaking practice in the run-up to the exams. It is a logistical
challenge to, single-handedly, manage and feedback on such numerous and diverse exercises during
one session. Through my experience gained from The Aspire Project, I now have skills to help
overcome this challenge. From next week, I will have the benefit of two new volunteers . Although
they lack either experience of or recent familiarity with the speaking exams, they could follow an
interlocutor's script and run speaking practice sessions while I am occupied running parallel
sessions. By recording the volunteer-led practice I have an opportunity to run more sessions


                                                  17
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

consecutively, to 'capture' and replay the sessions (which I would otherwise miss) and then to record
digital audio feedback out with the class time. This way I can ensure each learner still receives
feedback of a consistent quality from an experienced tutor. This should enhance the value of the
multi-level session for the learner.

Frustrations and disappointments
Thursday, 1 April 2010, 02:50 PM

by Kim Prior

Technically I am past the eight week period for learners accessing audio feedback, but I'm still giving
feedback on earlier weeks due to absences and late submissions. As a result I have only recently
discovered that a significant number (about 50%) of those who should have received audio feedback
have been unable to because they experience persistent problems accessing Moodle from home.
This is very disappointing sad as it is likely to compromise their assessment of the project. While the
response I've had from learners who can access feedback has been positive, a system that cannot be
relied upon would invalidate the entire approach. Do the learners require more briefing in how to
access Moodle from home? Is Moodle 'fatally' flawed - at least in its current version?

End of Term Review of Aspire Project progress
Thursday, 1 April 2010, 01:37 PM

by Simon Mootz

I had hoped to have completed the practical side of the experiment today. Disappointingly, non-
attendance of a key learner thwarted this plan (dream?). Nonetheless, satisfied with the completion
of the three other learners and with their responses to the project. They all praised the opportunity
to hear their performance again (although they cringed at hearing their own voices).

Encouragingly, there were moments when they picked out their own mistakes before they even got
to the next step of hearing my recorded feedback. This was a great moment whereby self-reflection
introduced an added input to the teaching and learning process. This 'added extra' of recording
speaking practce for playback is something that I will adopt more often to embrace the potential of
self-correction as a part of the learners' self-evaluation.

As anticipated, the learners' limited levels of comprehension have restricted the collecting of
meaningful evaluation from them. Despite my efforts to explain the crudely simplistic learner
evaluation forms I designed (these included simple pictures and icons), most haven't been able to
differentiate between evaluating the method by which they received feedback and evaluating their
own performance or even evaluating speaking practice per se.

Next step will be to collate the data/feedback for analysis and then formulate some conclusions to
my side of the project. Generally, I have enjoyed it and feel my MOODLE skills are developing too.
However, technical glitches and my sporadic technical ineptitude are recurrent hurdles. Yes, that mic
should have gone in the socket marked with a simple icon of a 'mic' not the one with the simple icon
of a pair of headphones. Doh!

Progress review
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 01:13 PM



                                                  18
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

by Simon Mootz

Difficulties with attendance have made it seem too elusive to wait for the four nominated learners
to engage in the experiment in one session. To get around this problem I have recorded many more
sessions than originally intended. I have even run 'dummy' learners to try to maintain recording
sessions. The unplanned advantage arising from this has been that the learners have all had
experience of both practice assessment and being recorded/listening back to recordings. Hopefully,
this will yield more reliable data when learners respond by comparing the direct personal v the
digital feedback in that their responses won't be skewed by relating to something experienced for
the first time rather than making an informed comparison.

Probably shouldn't advertise this but I did commit the heinous crime of messing up a recording on
Thursday. Very disappointing as it was a great session between 2 learners. Still, all part of getting
familiar with the kit AND the need to put the mic in to get a good recording!! Recordings are only
about 3-4 mins long so not too much inconvenience to anyone.

Hope to have finished all recordings by end of today's session. All learners should have listened to
feedack and evaluated by next Tuesday (30 March 2010) attendance permitting!

Second time
Monday, 22 March 2010, 02:49 PM

by Susan Watters

Last week I gave my students another test (units 5- 8) so it's now feedback time! I just knew I was
going to forget how to use the technology, I have the memory span of a goldfish. I did manage to
record the feedback on the digi recorder, it was the uploading that was the problem. As always Sir
Richard came to the rescue, thank you kind Sir.

I felt more confident using the recorder and even had the courage to stay in the office and dare the
phone to ring (it didn't).Though even my newly found courage wouldn't let me listen to the
feedback, so I hope I actually make sense!

Unfortunately a few students were absent for the test so I only had 4 students in the audio group
compared to 7 students in the last audio group. I have asked the returning students to do the test at
home and I will still give audio feedback on those.

I am not sure that I would adopt this method for giving test feedback on a regular basis as it creates
more work as I still have to make some notes before I read. I am curious to see the students'
feedback and their experience. I feel it is a valuable form of feedback and possibly just a question of
it becoming a habit, though I cannot check to see if students really have accessed their audio file (or
can I?). I have a sneaky suspicion that they might say they have, to please me, when in fact they
haven't.thoughtful

Friday thoughts
Friday, 19 March 2010, 04:35 PM

by Kim Prior




                                                  19
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

There are times now when I read or correct a piece of work when I automatically feel that audio is
what I need and that occasional use of the technology would be of continuing benefit to us once the
project is finished. We all know there are times when to talk a learner through the alternatives is a
potentially much more enriching experience and it is for these occasions that I would wish to retain
audio. At the same time I want to extend the use of audio files as I have plenty of informal feedback
that learners listen to them repeatedly, which can only be good.

Half way there
Tuesday, 2 March 2010, 04:05 PM

by Kim Prior

I'm at the point where learners who have been receiving written feedback should be switched to
audio, so it seems like a good time to reflect on how my approach has been shaped by the
technology. Although I had considered topic focused feedback, apart from persistent issues such as
use of the past perfect, I've found myself taking a very linear approach, talking the learner through
the text, rephrasing and offering alternatives to what they have written. Possibly for this reason I've
found that I am interrupting, checking and correcting my own thought processes in the course of
feedback. From my point of view this is not a failing as one of my aims was to broaden learners'
listening experience. What the learners think only time will tellthoughtful.

On the technology angle, Dave's idiot's guide to how to upload files was simple to follow and
delivered the goods.

First feedback
Tuesday, 16 February 2010, 01:32 PM

by Susan Watters

After marking the students mid-course test I closed myself in a classroom with a digital recorder and
started recording the feedback. It felt a little strange talking to nobody and I became aware of how
many times I paused using 'erm...' Sometimes I dried up completely and had to start again. One of
the points of giving aural feedback is to do less writing so I felt it counter productive to write copious
notes to read from. Also forgetting what you have already said could be a problem (for me blush) so
I had individuals test papers in front of me and worked through them.

Once that was done I cried HELP mixed and Richard came along very quickly big grin to help upload
the files onto Moodle and made sure that each student got their respective feedback uploaded and
not somebody elses! It seemed easy but whether I'll remember it for next time remains to be seen
thoughtful.

Now that is done ready for when the students come back after half term, it'll be interesting to see
their reaction.

Second Week's Feedback
Thursday, 11 February 2010, 04:47 PM

by Kim Prior




                                                   20
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

The process of recording feedback has certainly become more automatic, taking remarkably little
time given the amount of detail I am able to include. The comment from one learner has been very
positive on this - it answered all her needs and she listened to it twice big grin.

One learner from the audio group has withdrawn from the course due to work commitments, which
has led me to consider a perhaps more flexible approach to the cohort than the initial 6/6 divide - I
plan to incorporate another two learners in the audio group from feedback three.

Delays in getting the written work from the learners is making the process messy mixed, but this
would be the same even if we were not running the project.

As an interesting spin-off our colleagues at Harper Adams have invited our learners to attend a
Chinese New Year party that their students are organising. It would be a bonus if we could
build/sustain a permanent link with HA cool.

Pilot recording session
Thursday, 11 February 2010, 04:13 PM

by Simon Mootz

Ran a couple of pilot sessions with students today to try put the recorder through its paces and get
the learners used to being recorded. Three things struck me about the session:

1) The quality of the recording was excellent. Foreground discussion was crisp and sharp while
background classroom noise was negligible during playback. This demonstrated that it is viable to
record paired sessions while other learners within the class carry out other, active, studies. I have
more faith in the ease-of-use of the kit. Simple to download and rename files.

2) The 'White Coat Syndrome' of being recorded was clearly a cause of slight discomfort (for all
involved). However, this distortion is not necessarily unwelcome. As the learners grow increasingly
comfortable and familiar, both around each other and with the tutor, a complacency can set in to
their performance. An easy, cosy environment wil not yield best preparation for the stresses of
formal external examination in July. Perhaps the presence of the recording equipment helps address
this by lending an 'edge' to the session. This tension could be beneficial in preparation for the
inevitable anxiety of the actual examination. Might the learners' discomfort at the digital recorder's
presence- almost a third party in the proceedings- mirror the discomfort at the examiner's presence
during the formal exam?



3) It was evident that the learners needed more practice with the format and procedure of the
assessment before we can record the sessions for meaningful feedback. We shall attempt formal
recording sessions on the first week back after half -term.

Project launch
Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 02:00 PM

by Susan Watters




                                                   21
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

I felt the launch went well. The students responded well to using the laptops and I felt that everbody
logged on without too much fuss. There were the usual predictable problems of forgotten
passwords, but the fact that the students don't log onto the college website very often, I feel, is the
major cause of this.

Most students whizzed through the questionnaire without any problems. When my turn came to
demonstrate how I would be recording the feedback, things became interesting when I was talking
and not recording blush. Then laughed when I was recording clown so the students found it highly
amusing to listen to my laugh repeatedly blush. It did get the students practising how to listen to a
recording though, so the result was achieved through laughter. One student even downloaded it
onto his phone saying that he wanted to use it as his ring tone thoughtful.

The students have now sat their mid-course test which I will mark and give feedback after half term.
I divided the class into half and the right side will get audio feedback and the left side written
feedback. All of the students know which feedback they'll get and I have noted their names.

Onto the next stage of recording the feedback. Should be fun...

Launch with Sue's group
Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 11:03 AM

by Richard Booth

Completed yet another enjoyable launch session with Sue's group. They were a lively bunch and
hopefully they enjoyed the session.. They are all probably leaving the room with Sue's laugh etched
into their minds forever!

We as always had the login problems with the learners and after 20 minutes we had it all sorted out.
Sue gave an overall introduction to why we were in the room and then Dave and I introduced the
learners to what we wanted them to do! After logins to the laptops (which the learners loved!), we
got them to log in to Moodle and complete the technology questionnaire.

Then Sue expertly demonstrated the audio feedback process with a sample student (Hamid loved it
so much he used it as his ring tone on his mobile phone!). We then added it to the test online
assignment for the feedback and all the learners could see wher they would go to access the audio
file on Moodle. This will happen for real this week as they have their test today. Sue will give half the
group written feedback and the other half audio feedback. This process will switch next time so that
all learners have experience of both forms of feedback so we can gain their views and feedback on
the process.

Looking forward to seeing how the project progresses and feeding back all the happenings on a
future blog!

Launch of project with E3 learners
Tuesday, 9 February 2010, 02:06 PM

by Susan Watters

In anticipation of Richard and Dave's presentation tomorrow I have briefed the students on the
project and asked them to make sure they all have their student ID cards and passwords thoughtful.


                                                   22
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

In the second half of the morning after the presentation by Richard and Dave the learners will sit
their mid-course test, which I will use as the first one to give feedback on to half of the learners via a
digital recording on moodle. The timing is good because it gives me half term to mark and prepare
the audio feedback, so when the students return after the break they will all have their feedback
ready, either audio or written.

My next thought was on how to divide the class, do I just randomly choose the learners, just divide
the register in half or pick which learners try it first? I have decided just to divide the class in half
depending on where they sit. The day of the presentation by Richard and Dave will determine which
group they are in first. Then the groups will be swapped over so that the students can compare
getting audio feedback to written feedback.

Audio feedback and uploading.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010, 04:01 PM

by Kim Prior

Although it's a little weird offering constructive criticism into a handheld device, once I got past the
opening comments it really flowed quite easily and allowed me to conduct a one-way tutorial for the
learner. We'll see if they like it.

I had reservations about uploading as it involves the more technical aspects of the project and I was
convinced I would end up sending feedback to the wrong person. However, Dave did all the real
work big grin, as well as sorting out the problems when the file failed to appear on Moodle.

Tomorrow I'll take the four 'guinea pigs' through accessing the feedback file and then await their
comments.

'The Woman in White' Aspire Launch
Thursday, 28 January 2010, 02:56 PM

by Kim Prior

I had prepared the class before Dave and Richard came in so they were quite well geared up for the
launch. We had begun readings from The Woman in White the week before, which meant that the
issue of summary writing was out of the way and we could just focus on the technology. There were
the usual glitches, which one expects with this sort of thing, but I built in a Perfect tense revision
exercise to keep everyone busy while Dave and Richard played with their arcane materials.

The learners responded well to the concept and the technology, enjoying the novelty of being able
to access my readings at any time. I'm particularly interested in how they respond to this as the
weeks go by, as there is real potential here to extend the learning experience and build in
differentiation which can be accessed outside the classroom. I'm thinking initially of a weekly phrasal
verb audio lesson, with perhaps an advanced grammar slot at a later date. But we'll see what the
take up is like after the novelty wears thin.

Murphy's Law in action
Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 01:05 PM

by Dave Shearan


                                                    23
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Just finished the launch session for Kim's ESOL group. Are you familiar with Murphy's Law?

Everything that can go wrong, will

We had all the usual problems with learners and logins and passwords but we also had a Moodle
crash surprise and Kim's first demonstration recording was not audible sad, oh and the original
digital voice recorder crashed as well blush

Still what do you expect with technology? Everybody responded really well to our embarassed
attempts to keep things on track and by the end of it we had everybody logged in, the technology
questionnaire completed and a really good demonstration completed of how it all works.

All in all it was well worth while going to all the trouble

Launch session with Kim's group
Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 01:01 PM

by Richard Booth

First of all, everything that could go wrong did go wrong! Having said that, it all worked out
beautifully and we are set with Kim's group ready for their first audio feedback when Kim begins that
process.

All the learners now have logins to the computer and access to the ESOL Moodle course. As they are
to use the actual ESOL course as Kim has already added the audio files, it didn't make sense to use
the Aspire test course. Kim introduced the session and Dave and I got the learners to complete the
technology questionnaire.

Moodle went down and we had to reset it, so that lost us a few minutes! Then learners passwords
had to be reset and reset again in some cases.. Then the audio recorder wanted to play up, so the
audio feedback test that Kim prepared beautifully had to be re-done and using a different recorder.
This was completed and it was uploaded to Moodle so the learners could see where they would
access the audio feedback.

Another great bunch of people! Two groups down, one more to go, just Sue's group on 10th
February and we can then see how it all pans out and really get stuck into the project.

Launch session with Simon's group
Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 08:35 AM

by Richard Booth

A great start to the Aspire project with real people as opposed to project plans and electronic
documents for the past few months (obviously the tutors we are working with are real and we have
worked with them a fair bit also in the initial stages of this audio feedback journey so that is a bonus
too!).

We had 4 learners in the end as Simon needs to have pairs working together otherwise the logistics
would be a problem!




                                                    24
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

We knew in advance that we would have slight problems with the logins for the learners for the
computers and getting them onto Moodle to for the demonstration. This however went quite
smoothly and I was really impressed with the learners enthusiasm and grasp of what we wanted
them to do (even with our hand gestures for 'listening' and 'recording' the audio. Looking back they
must have thought Simon will record the audio into his hand as I had demonstrated this many times
without the use of the actual device!

Simon introduced the project and Dave and I helped the learners to complete a quick technology
questionnaire which they did well. We then demonstrated the process (which will happen for real
for the first time next week!). They watched how Simon will observe their discussion and then
capture his feedback digitally and then upload their individual feedback to the online assignment
feature on Moodle. There the learners will be able to listen to the audio feedback.

Looking forward to the feedback on the process and working with the learners again.

Launch of Beginner group assignment 26 Jan 2010
Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 05:38 PM

by Simon Mootz

We're off!

I had spoken to the 4 selected students before Richard and Dave came to the class- some of the
language of explaining our experiment was difficult to simplify. Once R & D joined the class we
recapped about the experiment - this was useful to reinforce, with a second run through, what we
are doing.

Some very minor initial log-in obstacles (despite having used Moodle only a few weeks ago, learners
had forgotten their passwords). This was quickly by-passed by Richard.

Questionnaire worked well. Mime and paraphrasing easily conveyed meaning of new vocab-
'headphones', 'access' and 'memory stick'- some learners had prior knowledge of these.

Demo given of example feedback and where to 'find' it on Moodle. Good support from Dave and
Richard- all went smoothly. Learner comprehension was evident from their feedback and questions.

A successful launch!

Looking forward to using the kit and finding out what the learners make of it.




                                                 25
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Appendix III – Student Evaluation
Scanned examples of completed feedback by learners




                                                26
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Aspire audio feedback from learners

The feedback was received from learners in each specific group (Sue, Kim and Simon).

Kim’s Group

The students were asked: How often have you used audio feedback on Moodle?

The most common responses were as follows:

x1
x2                                 1
X3                                 2
X4                                 1
X5                                 2
X6
X7
X8                                 1
X9
X10                                1


The students were asked: Have you listened to the same feedback more than once?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                8
No


If so, how many

1
2                                  4
3                                  4
4


The students were asked: Did you prefer audio feedback to written feedback?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                3
No


If Yes, why:

I learnt more from it              3
I paid more attention to it        1
I found it more useful             2




                                                27
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Other please give reason:

      “I noticed that I remember corrections easier from audio feedback rather than written one.”

The students were asked: Did you have problems accessing your feedback online?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   5
No                                    4


If Yes, what problems did you have:

No access to computer                 1
I couldn’t log into Moodle            4
I had problems opening the file       2


Any other reasons:

      “I has some problems with changing a password. Downloading files should be easier. I couldn’t
      find the link to my feedback files”

      “I couldn’t log in moodle.shrewsbury.ac.uk at home. So I don’t have chance to get the audio
      feedback, but I think it a good way to learn a language online”



The students were asked: Did you download your feedback onto any of the following?

The most common responses were as follows:

Mobile phone                          1
MP3 player / iPod
Memory stick                          2


None of the above, please specify:

Computer                              3
No Internet access                    1


The students were asked: Did you find audio feedback a valuable part of your learning experience?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   8
No                                    1


“Because I couldn’t log in for many times and I’ve lost patience with…”



                                                 28
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

“I found it useful, I could learn more and correct my mistakes better thank in written feedback”

“Because of I was able to listen to the assessment of my work in full size instead of getting it in short
cut form. And obviously I could improve not only my grammar also the construction of the sentences”

“It’s quick and more comprehensive than written feedback, and also easy to understand what and
where is problem”

“Because I can listen to it when I have time and understand better what I need to improve. More
details than written on because Kim can take time to explain better that note in the written feedback
one”

“I found interactive corrections more effective and useful than written feedback. It looked to me
more like an individual lesson”

“I think audio feedback is better because we can train our understanding / audio of words and the
way we should pronounce them”

“I learn more from audio feedback. I like to listen to it that why I paid more attention to it”


The students were asked: If audio feedback were available in the future as a way of receiving
feedback, would you like to use it again?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   9
No




Simon’s Group

Personal Feedback?

What was good?
“Good for speaking English”

“Was good because I prob me self how is my inglish I’m happy”

“This is good because my teacher Simon can to correct my”

“Good for speaking English increase learning and listen”

What was bad?
“Some people sitting I am shy”

“Was a little bad with my nervs and the rest everything is ok”

“I felt little nerves”

“Bad because people sitting I shy”


                                                    29
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

Any other comments:

“I’m very happy with my teacher because he has patation (patience) a lot. Thank you very much”

“I like computer easy for improve English”

Digital Audio Feedback?

What was good?
“I like use the comptin and lisnng”

“Was good because I can heard my herror”

“Good for learning English I like feed back”

“For me was good because Simon my teacher is helping in the veros of present simple an continuo
and I need work mor in this!

What was bad?
“Fror me was bad because when I’m tacking I forgot to youse this vervos is very important and also
som times I confios a litell in son cuestions. I need thing and work mor ano mor”

“Nothing, everything is ok”

“Bad because people sitting I shy”

Any other comments:

“Than you very much Simon I’m very jappy leaning English”

“I like computer easy for improve English”



Sue’s Group

The students were asked: How often have you used audio feedback on Moodle?

The most common responses were as follows:

x1                                    6
x2                                    2
X3                                    3
Not used                              1


The students were asked: Have you listened to the same feedback more than once?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   7
No                                    5



                                                30
Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

If so, how many

1                                     0
2                                     5
3                                     0
4                                     0


The students were asked: Did you prefer audio feedback to written feedback?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   5
No                                    7


If Yes, why:

I learnt more from it                 4
I paid more attention to it           2
I found it more useful                2


Other please give reason:

       “I found it more useful when I’m hearing.”

      “I havn’t time, but I going open internet and than start it”

      “I don’t like changing the password every time. Why? I don’t understand”

The students were asked: Did you have problems accessing your feedback online?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   6
No                                    6


If Yes, what problems did you have:

No access to computer                 1
I couldn’t log into Moodle            1
I had problems opening the file


Any other reasons:

      “Sometimes I had problems logging in even when I changed password”

      “I think it will be better if passwords has not changed every month”




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Formative audio feedback - assessing the benefits for ESOL students

The students were asked: Did you download your feedback onto any of the following?

The most common responses were as follows:

Mobile phone                          1
MP3 player / iPod
Memory stick                          7


None of the above, please specify:

The students were asked: Did you download your feedback onto any of the following?

The most common responses were as follows:

Yes                                   9
No                                    3


“It was interesting, something new”

“I prefer written feedback”

I think I could learn more of this”

“ I am sure that I can learn more using audio feedback”

“ I found it useful, BUT I prefer written feedback so I can read it many times without using computer”




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