Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Developing student feedback through the use of Podcasts

15 July 2009 |

Eighty semester two students are now listening to feedback on their assessments through their iPhone or MP3 player. Innovative work done by Dr Nick Robinson, Lecturer in EU Public Policy, POLIS, means that students can now download and listen to audio feedback online.

Approximately 80 students on the second year semester 2 module "Making of the European Union" can access audio feedback ithrough the VLE (virtual learning environment), listening to it online or downloading it as a podcast.

Student feedback has been universally popular, with a great deal of enthusiasm being show for the process to continue. They also commented that they appreciated the more personal nature of the feedback as well as the depth of meaning that is conveyed by a spoken voice.

The aims and objectives of the project were to produce detailed feedback for a large group of students in a short space of time, thereby improving the experience of giving feedback as well as to improve the quality of feedback for students and increase student engagement with it.

Dr Robinson commented "the process has saved me a great deal of time and made the process of giving feedback more stimulating and less stressful. I will definitely be continuing with this approach to giving feedback, and following a systematic review am looking to expand it to all of my modules next year."

Project methodology

Notes were made on student work which formed the basis of the feedback to be recorded. Feedback was then recorded on available personal equipment (iPhone). Audio files were transferred to a computer via the iphone app, iTalk (which integrates seamlessly with the iPhone), renamed to the name of the students and then uploaded to a folder within the VLE labelled student feedback. The need did not arise to control to access to the feedback and no students raised an issue with their feedback being available to others. Students accessed their feedback from the VLE and either listened to feedback online or downloaded the files.

The process had been discussed with Michael Bolton the faculty VLE support officer prior to starting to refine the process and approach taken.

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