Voice feedback on formative assigments Ian Greener School of Applied Social Sciences Voice feedback? • Is your written formative feedback getting a bit formulaic? • Do you ever get the feeling that if you could offer more directed, more specific feedback, then your students might do better in their summatives? • Do you find writing formative feedback frustrating when you can think much quicker than you can write or type? Voice feedback • Providing voice feedback can help with at least some of this… • It allows you to talk direct to student work • It is reasonably quick – probably as quick as providing written feedback • But it gives students far more to go on • And the evidence (from here) and from other sites where it has been tried suggest that students like it (think NSS….) How do you give voice feedback? • I’m afraid the process could be smoother, but once you’ve been though it once, isn’t too bad • I use a digital voice recorder. I read through an assignment once, then talk to it the second time through. Talking also allows me to come up with a mark through argument. • Each assignment gets one file. As long as I know the first file number on the digital recorder, and keep the scripts in order, they map onto on another (file number and student number) pretty straightforwardly through a list • Saying the student number at the beginning of each file allows the process to be checked • All the files are then put in a DUO file directory (using Webdav and Discovery) • Students are given access to the file store, and download the file that is theirs by looking at the list • They can then play it back at their leisure, with their essay in front of them Some feedback from students…. • I think this is a much better system than paper feedback. I know I got a lot more from it than if you had just had to tick boxes and given me a comment in that little box on the piece of paper. It was also much easier to use than anticipated, and I definitely think you should recommend this to other lecturers • I found the feedback for the formative much better than 'normal' written feedback. Problems • All students can access the feedback files for all other students • So you have get permission before you can do it (from the students), with an opt-out • No students have opted out of the (Masters) courses I’ve used the system on • But on the undergrad programme, a couple of students did opt out when a colleague wanted to use this • But as one student said: – Regarding people being able to listen to other people's, I can see from listening to mine that it wouldn't make much sense to someone who didn't have a copy of the essay, so I don't see that that is a real problem. Other problems • I’m aware this isn’t exactly cutting-edge technology • It would be better if students could get their own feedback only, but emailing isn’t possible as the files are too big and it would be pretty time intensive • It may be possible to use Gradebook where the assignment has been submitted electronically, but once again this is very time intensive so loses a lot of the benefit for staff Conclusion • Students get a lot more feedback this way, but it’s not a good technological solution (and alternative methods seem rather over-engineered….) • However, students do seem to like it, and I can report a significant improvement in summative work as a result of running formatives this way (my second marker commented ‘they finally seem to have got it’) • Audio feedback is getting far more common across the sector (google ‘university audio feedback’) • I would argue that this approach could also be used in summatives – but the University seems to be hamstringing us somewhat in this respect….
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