Using Vocaroo for student feedback

My students have their first essay due on Tuesday and I am going to try something that I have never done before: I will use Vocaroo to provide audio feedback to them. They turn their essays in on Googledocs, and I will still “mark-up” their essay as I normally would, but instead of writing a concluding paragraph at the end of their paper, I will provide a link to a Vocaroo recording.

Why am I doing this?

Well, for one thing, I am hoping that hearing my voice will provide a an incentive for my students to take the comments that I would normally write more seriously. Sometime I have the sense that though the vast majority of students read the comment, for many, their attention level drops after they see their grade, which is certain to be the first thing to pop out to them on the document.  A recorded message will hopefully keep them engaged and attentive to my remarks, no matter what their grade might be.

Secondly, with a recorded message, I am hoping to make the comment even more personal. To some extent, the spoken word can be more personal than the written, and I am seeking to create some of this effect.

I have of course no idea whether this will work, but I will give it a try and then gauge my students reactions. Hopefully, it will be another and more effective way for me to provide feedback on their work.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly welcomed!

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3 Responses to Using Vocaroo for student feedback

  1. I agree that this will add a certain personal touch to feedback. My only concern is whether students will retain and refer to it like they might with written comments. Therefore, I agree that you need to still provide some sort of “mark up” or rubric with your recording. I am interested in seeing if this provides benefit to you also. I suspect that making the recordings will be less time consuming than writing the concluding paragraphs.

    • First of all, thank you so much for your comment! I completely agree with you about the risk of students not retaining the comment as well–that is certainly a concern of mine. However, the only comment that is left via audio is the concluding paragraph at the end of essay; the vast, vast majority of the grading will still be done in the essay in the normal form. Students will still have the benefit of seeing in writing “you need to support this claim with better evidence,” “insert comma here” or “this is a run-on sentence; rephrase.” The only thing provided in audio is the summation of the remarks that I made throughout the essay. Hopefully, this will provide for an effective mix, but since the retention of the audio comment is my biggest concern, I will certainly monitor how students react as I return their essays. Again, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!

  2. Pingback: Best Methods and Tools for Online Educators to Give Students Helpful and Meaningful Feedback | online learning insights

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