For a while now I have been sending feedback on some student work as MP3 audio files. I find that I can record about three minutes worth of audio feedback on a standard essay and email it back to the student in as much time as it would take to annotate a script and write the equivalent comments at the end. Feedback from the students on this mode of feedback has been most encouraging and they particularly appreciate when audio MP3 is used to provide feed-forward on a piece of work before it is finally submitted. The technology makes this possible. It does not reduce my workload substantially but it does seem to have greater impact. Click here for a recent short article in the Bioscience Education E-Journal.
Some colleagues had been asking about the process of providing feedback in this manner and so I have prepared a short screenr video on how to use Audacity (the programme I use to record the audio files). This is also my first attempt at using screenr so it’s not a very polished effort! Screenr allows for screen capture and commentary in a manner similar to Camtasia . The main difference is that screenr is restricted to 5 minutes duration. However, for a short snappy introduction to something it does the job well, and most importantly, it’s free! It also integrates with twitter.