Offering Sound Advice: Exploring the Provision and Delivery of Audio Feedback to Students

Stephen McClean, Alison Gallagher, Catherine Hack, William Hagan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We report on a study conducted within the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster where a group of academic members of staff provide feedback to students as electronic audio files on coursework and laboratory classes. The project is investigating the various modes of recording audio files for feedback to students such as desk-based microphones, headsets, hand-held voice recorders and mobile phones. Software options such as Camtasia and the open source software Audacity will be explored and reported upon. In addition, modes of delivery of MP3 files are also investigated such as feedback podcasts, emailing audio files or delivery via the institutional VLE. One particular application is the use of mail-merge technology to send personalised MP3 audio files to a cohort of 66 students and this has attracted positive comments from students. A feedback podcast was developed for a large year one module to provide comments on student performance in a laboratory context. This utilised Feedburner to manage the podcast and to track usage. The feedback provided was generic in nature and summarised comments provided to students verbally in class. The cohort size of around 140 students meant that providing individual feedback by this method was not feasible. While some interaction with the recorded audio files took place, in their evaluation some students stated that they preferred to receive verbal feedback in class or to receive written feedback. Some students commented that they did not use iTunes (or similar software) and were not familiar with subscribing to podcasts despite being given a brief instruction on how to do this. This therefore represents a technological hurdle that needs to be addressed if this technology is to be used in the future. Finally both staff and student perceptions of using this mode of feedback alongside more traditional modes of feedback such as written comments on student work or verbal feedback provided in class will be explored.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Jul 2012
EventHigher Education Academy Annual Conference - University of Manchester
Duration: 3 Jul 2012 → …


ConferenceHigher Education Academy Annual Conference
Period3/07/12 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Offering Sound Advice: Exploring the Provision and Delivery of Audio Feedback to Students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this