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Audio feedback – better feedback?

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Feedback has long been identified as a problem by staff and students alike. While students often complain that they are not getting enough detailed feedback that is relevant to future work, staff feel they are investing a lot of time and work into providing feedback that is not collected or not acted upon. Increasingly, the use of audio feedback is seen as a means to tackle some of these problems.

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Audio feedback – better feedback?

  1. 1. Audio feedback – better feedback?* Susanne Voelkel & Luciane V. Mello School of Life Sciences *funded by the eLearing Steering Group, UoL
  2. 2. “Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement”** Hattie & Timperley, 2007
  3. 3. Effective feedback answers 3 questions*:• Where am I going? – (the goals)• How am I going? – “feed-back”• Where to next? – “feed- forward” * Hattie & Timperley, 2007
  4. 4. Good quality feedback – students’ view*• Detailed information on how to improve• Applicable to future work• Personal• Timely* Student focus group, School of Life Sciences
  5. 5. But…. all is not well!
  6. 6. UoL
  7. 7. Can audio feedback help us provide better feedback?
  8. 8. Research questions• Will audio feedback – Work? – Save staff time? – Increase student satisfaction? – Help students learn better?
  9. 9. Research design• Two case studies – Undergraduate level – Postgraduate level
  10. 10. 1. The undergraduate level project• Year 3, class size 70• Low stake (10%) essay, exam conditions (handwritten)• Class split randomly in half – 50% written feedback (comments) – 50% audio feedback (bullet points on script)• Evaluation
  11. 11. 2. The postgraduate level project• M-level module• Class size 14• Group work assessment – Individual component – Purely formative• All students receive audio feedback only• Evaluation
  12. 12. Methods• Recording the feedback – Mobile digital voice recorder – Audio files (mp3 format) – Measure time (UG)• Dissemination – By email• Listening to the feedback – Mp3 player or computer
  13. 13. Evaluation• Questionnaire – Response rate • 44% undergraduate • 93% postgraduate• Interviews (10, UG)• Marks (UG)
  14. 14. Did it work? The technical side.• No problems from staff or student side
  15. 15. Did audio feedback save staff time? Time (min) Standard N deviationAudio 16 +8 31feedbackWritten 11 +3 31feedback Significant difference (p=0.002)
  16. 16. Did audio feedback increase student satisfaction?
  17. 17. After reading/ listening to my feedback, I fully understand my mark Postgrad audio agree neitherUnder- disagreegraduates written 0 20 40 60 80 100
  18. 18. I understand what I need to do to get a better mark in the future Postgrad audio agree neitherUnder- disagreegraduates written 0 20 40 60 80 100
  19. 19. The amount of feedback I got was Postgrad definitely not enough not really enough audio just rightUnder-graduates written too much 0 20 40 60 80 100
  20. 20. The feedback I got was detailed enough Postgrad audio agree neitherUnder- disagreegraduates written 0 20 40 60 80 100
  21. 21. My feedback was clear Postgrad audio agree neitherUnder- disagreegraduates written 0 20 40 60 80 100
  22. 22. Written comments on audio feedback Undergraduates “It (the audio feedback) was very personal, I knew exactly what I had to do to make my mark better” “you get a lot more honest opinion about (your work) and a lot more information I think on how to improve” “…written feedback means that you have it there just to look at all the time and it’s a bit harder to go back and look at the audio feedback”
  23. 23. Written comments on audio feedback Postgraduates “Audio FB was very useful, I strongly feel more lecturers should adopt it as part of their teaching methods” “Audio FB was fantastic and more detailed than just writing a few lines in text format”
  24. 24. Effects on student learning? F 80 e e 70 d 60 b a Average mark (%) 50 c k audio 40 written 30 20 10 0 Formative Summative
  25. 25. Research questions – the answers• Will audio feedback – Work? yes – Save staff time? no – Increase student satisfaction? yes – Help students learn better? perhaps
  26. 26. Thank yousvoelkel@liv.ac.uk