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Sounds Good: Innovative practice with digital audio Bob Rotheram, Graham Webb Leeds Metropolitan University

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1 Sounds Good: Innovative practice with digital audio Bob Rotheram, Graham Webb Leeds Metropolitan University

2 Sounds Good: Quicker, better assessment using audio feedback Audio feedback: can everyone benefit? students: richer feedback? staff: save time? Leeds Met, JISC-funded Jan-July 2008 Coursework feedback (x2) formative + summative ~15 teachers, 460 students various subjects, levels, numbers

3 How? Digital audio feedback MP3 recorders ‘Audacity’ software ‘WIMBA’ voice tools Audio files via: Email VLE mobile devices

4 Early comments (Student) “Very helpful. It felt like the tutor was able to expand more…. Often when you read feedback, things can get misunderstood or meant in a different way. I felt this way was very clear.” (Staff) “I think with practice this will get quicker as I get more used to things.”

5 Later comments Team member Project manager (Lecturer, on group feedback) “Never have I 'listened' so intently to others' comments on any work I've done. … And it sounded better than I recalled it from the actual session!”

6 Main findings Students like audio feedback! personal, detail, careful consideration Staff like it - better feedback Best chance of saving staff time if: give lots of feedback write slowly but record speech quickly comfortable with technology

7 Practice guidelines Don’t expect to save time immediately Handheld recorder more convenient? record direct to MP3; USB port Keep files short (<5 mins?) ‘Good enough’ sound quality (32kbps mono?) Get approval for audio use See website for morewebsite

8 Continued… ‘Sounds Good 2’ more at Leeds Met 3 other HEIs Newman University College University of Northampton York St John University ‘Widening Stakeholder Engagement’ collaboration with 2 HEA subject centres

9 Explore, if possible… Staff quicker with practice? Better feedback/guidance saves time in medium/long term? Improved practice guidelines? Electronic submission + audio feedback? Speech-to-text for written feedback? Feedback sent automatically? Tutor-student dialogue via audio? Novelty wears off?

10 Project Graham Webb Head of Languages Leeds Metropolitan University

11 What is it? Use of WebCT voice tools to link students in UK with students in France, Spain & Germany Enables students to practice speaking & listening skills via any PC, where and when convenient to them Uses synchronous and asynchronous facility TQEF Funded project run by Graham Webb and Dr Jane Shelton, Leeds Met

12 How is it organised? Students in UK and abroad are linked in groups of 4 (AB:AB) Each student communicates with one foreign student in their own language and with the other in the “foreign” language Year 2 students are involved as they will be going abroad in Year 3

13 What do the students do? Students communicate with their partner abroad to find out all they need to know before their Year Abroad They decide what they want to find out, ask the questions and await the answers They also respond to the questions posed by the “foreign” student

14 What do the students gain? Improved speaking and listening skills Increased confidence with colloquial language and vocabulary Engagement with someone their own age with similar interests and motivation An assessment of their own needs and their language development

15 Also… How to “be coached” and how to coach others in language learning How to set their own objectives and achieve them through a series of tasks – “Enquiry Based Learning” Engagement in effective Technology Enhanced Learning

16 As well as… The possibility of integrating more quickly on their Year Abroad Personal contacts/friends in the foreign country Output in the form of an oral report on what they have learnt – information and tips to other students

17 What will be the outcome? Research into students’ attitudes to this resource Research into their speaking & listening confidence levels Research into their experience of integration during their Year Abroad Assessment of the Project, amendment and implementation

18 Finally… Extension of Pilot Scheme (Leeds Met / Universidad de Murcia) to France & Germany in 2009/10 Full integration within core language modules for all undergraduates Use for both formative and summative assessment.

19 Contact us Bob Rotheram (Sounds Good) Graham Webb (EuroFone)

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