I finished grading my students’ essays and I have been pleasantly surprised by their reaction to the audio comments I have left via Vocaroo. After I returned the essays, I polled the students (thank you Google forms!) on what they thought about the audio comment. Overall, the responses were positive. I asked them three questions (I am paraphrasing slightly here):
*Did you like the audio comment?
*Do you think that it is easier for you to internalize my comments when they are provided in spoken, rather than written form?
*In the future, would you prefer a written or spoken comment?
Almost all of my students liked the audio comment. About 60% thought that it was easier to internalize a spoken comment, while about 30% did not experience a difference between spoken and written comments. About 10% of my students would rather have a written comment. Hence, most of the students said that they did not care either way–audio or written comments are both fine–while a small minority said that they preferred a written or audio comment over the other one.
So, where does this leave me? Based on this first essay, I think that I will continue to use the audio comment. The vast, vast majority of students seem to be either positive or indifferent towards the audio comment, which tells me that there might be something valuable here. As I get better at leaving voice comments, my hope is that more and more students will appreciate them in comparison with the written comment. For the few students that were not happy with the audio comment (less than 5), I will offer the option of having a written comment as well.
We will see how all of this works out, but I must say that I am quite pleased with how this little experiment worked out. My students have been great in offering feedback on this project, and I am hoping that all of this will make it easier for me to provide better and more informative feedback to my students.