University of Central Lancashire (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 6164-6170
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Feedback to students remains a contentious issue for both staff and learners:
“the UK-wide National Student Survey has shown consistently that feedback is an area in which students are often least satisfied, irrespective of institution or discipline” (Rodway-Dyer et al, 2011)

“Feedback on students’ work is, probably, one of the most important aspects of learning, yet students’ report, according to the National Union of Students (NUS) Survey of 2008, unhappiness with the feedback process” (Lunt & Curran, 2010)

“... teaching staff complain about lack of student engagement with feedback and a loss of connection with students” (Cann, 2014)

This paper presents a case study carried out with first year undergraduate students to compare and contrast the use of audio feedback and text-based feedback. (“Audio feedback may be defined as a digital sound file containing formative or summative verbal feedback given by the tutor”. Hennessy & Forrester, 2014).

Shriver (1992) has suggested that recordings of spoken feedback can be used as “think-aloud reading” and help students to focus on the impressions their writing gives to the reader. This research was directed towards writing skills but other research e.g. Lunt & Curran (2010) indicated that audio feedback had been favourably tested by students in business and tourism. Rodway-Dyer et al (2011) tested similar ideas with geography students and met with a largely positive response.

Other research has suggested that the issue is not so clear-cut: “some [students] found the richness of the audio feedback a precursor to even greater effort, some students pointing out forcefully that its pro-social nature created an affective relationship, whilst others found it at best, redundant in terms of its cognitive effects, and at worst, an intrusive and unwelcome intimate obstruction to understanding.” (Gleaves & Walker, 2013)

The study carried out in BA(Hons) Photography suggests that not all students see a benefit in audio feedback but that it has a role within the curriculum as part of a range of feedback methods.

[1] Rodway-Dyer, S. Knight, J. & Dunne, E. (2011) A Case Study on Audio Feedback with Geography Undergraduates Journal of Geography in Higher Education Vol. 35, No. 2, 217–231, May 2011
[2] Lunt, T. and Curran, J. (2010) ‘Are you listening please?’ The advantages of electronic audio feedback compared to written feedback’
[3] Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 35, No. 7, December 2010, 759–769
[4] Cann, A. (2014) Engaging Students with Audio Feedback Bioscience Education, Vol 22, Issue 1 (July 2014)
[5] Shriver, K.A. (1992) Teaching writers to anticipate readers’needs. Written Communication, 9 (2), 179-208.
[6] Claire Hennessy and Gillian Forrester (2014) Developing a framework for effective audio feedback: a case study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 2014, Vol. 39, No. 7, 777–789.
Assessment, feedback, mp3, audio.