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Recording Feedback as an Audio File

Recording Feedback as an Audio File


Sipple (2007) found that 70% of student participants preferred getting feedback on their papers in audio format. One student commented "It made me feel like I was being tutored one-on-one and I received some great advice. I felt congratulated on parts that I did really well on when I would hear parts you liked. But I would not feel down if I heard something negative. It made me try harder." (p.26).

The teaching tip

Students can submit their papers to you as a Microsoft Word document and you can insert audio commentary right into the Word document. Step-by-step instructions for doing this can be found at this page on Brigham Young University. This method requires Office 2007 and works best on PCs

Another convenient method of delivering audio responses to your students is to use a digital recorder, upload the audio files to your computer, and e-mail your responses to each student as an attachment.

Some teachers read part of the student's paper out loud into the recorder verbatim, pausing where they are confused and explaining their confusion. This helps "show" the student their experience of reading the paper, and communicates that they are really trying to gather meaning from what they wrote.

It is good practice to record a few responses to student papers and then listen to what you have recorded. Some instructors have found that they were surprised at how harsh their comments sounded, and had to re-word what they said in order for it to be heard sympathetically.


Adapted from: Sipple, S. (2007). Ideas in practice: Developmental writers' attitudes toward audio and written feedback. Journal of Developmental Education, 30(3), 22-31.