Audios for feedback, marking and personalising – Cheat Sheet

Marking with audio 

One of the greatest discoveries I made when I was teaching was the ability to transform essay type assessment in audio files. A well written paper is also well read, so when I was teaching and I had a lot of marking but also a long commute home I would put my “read aloud” assignments on my audio player and listen to it driving to work and back, by the time I did the actual marking I already knew what the assignment was about and it made the marking easier. I used (and still use) Zamzar to make word docs into audios. Try it out and see what you think.  

The advantages of using audio for feedback 

I would like to see more people using audio for feedback, it is such a great way to provide feedback and guidance to students. Two particular groups of students benefit from audio feedback: 

  1. those who have done an exceptional job with their assignment and you want to convey how impressed you are highlighting what was the best part of their work. 
  2. Those who did not well at all and here no matter how nice you word things, failing is really hard to take, so the voice of your teacher explaining why the assignment failed does make a big difference. 

Having said that audio feedback also saves time in writing long/extensive feedback, Turnitin  has an audio feedback feature so check it out. 

Personalizing your course with audio 

Well this is a different take on the Podcast – Audio ideas from the previous cheat sheet but especially courses that are delivered online only or mixed mode having some personalization within the course is a really great way to cut the “transactional distance” that makes students feel a little bit lost in the digital environment. There are many ways you can personalize using audio in your Wattle: 

  • Have an audio recording to introduce the topic of the week/module instead of just text 
  • Have an audio recording to explain the assessment requirements 
  • Have an audio recording in the forum to welcome students, praise forum participation, provide guidance for upcoming tasks, etc. 

Wattle has an inbuilt audio recording feature so you can simply press record and put your audio in many different areas of your site with very little effort. 


Happy teaching and happy learning! 



Technologies and tips   

Here are some of the technologies you can use to record audio: 

As in the previous cheat sheet use Audacity for both recording and editing audios or use Windows Voice Recorder on your PC or Quicktime player on a Mac. 

Check out the Turnitin audio recording feature 

Audacity (to record and edit) 

Zamzar (also to create audio essays)