Jul 4, 2020
Episode 99 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores five methods for recording verbal feedback to students.
As we know, feedback is an essential tool for formative assessment, and verbal feedback can be particularly powerful. However, sometimes, it is just not possible to provide verbal feedback at the right time. However, there are a variety of tools available that help you record verbal feedback and share it after the fact.
Except for the first suggestion, you will need a pair of headphones with a mic attached to use these tools (or a separate pair of headphones and a mic). Your school or college will hopefully be able to provide these.
Depending on your students and your organisation's safeguarding and e-safety policies, one of the most accessible tools for recording feedback is a mobile phone. Most mobiles have a native audio recording app.
If you use yours, you can share the audio with the student afterwards (this is a little clunky as you will have to get it off your phone and into a storage area such as Google Drive so you can generate a link to the audio for the student). Or, you can allow your student to record the feedback on their phone. I appreciate this will not work in all situations, but if it is acceptable, getting the student to do this could encourage them to take ownership of their learning. The downside is that you do not have a copy of the feedback, but you could record it yourself as well, or use a transcription app while recording.
I won't spend too much time on Loom because if you have been listening to the show for a while, you will know I am a big fan of this free, screen recording tool. Recording your screen is a great way to give verbal feedback on any screen-based work, for example, a written assignment.
If your organisation uses Turnitin, then there is a voice comment tool built in to their Feedback Studio. Several colleagues of mine have been using it effectively. What they tend to do is take a comment bank approach to general comments (Turnitin calls these QuickMarks) and give an overall voice comment at the top of the assignment.
Kaizena is an easy to use Google Docs and Slides add-on that enables you to leave voice comments on students’ work. Its limitation is that you can only use it on Docs and Slides, but it does work seamlessly with these formats. If you are used to marking work via Google Classroom and leaving comments, then you will likely be able to work Kaizena out in minutes. It is worth a look.
Vocaroo is my my favourite tool of all. Please don't be put off by the terrible website. Vocaroo does one thing incredibly well. It allows you to record a voice comment in two clicks and generate a link to that comment straight away. You can then paste the link anywhere you want. It's basically Loom, but for audio. Brilliant!
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Thanks for listening and I hope you'll join me for the next episode.