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Gathering audio for assessment

Gathering AudioWhile video (audio/visual) evidence is becoming a more popular form of evidence, the gathering of audio isn’t as common. This is seen anecdotally, through talking with assessors, and is supported by recent national survey data that showed 68% of students surveyed reported there was no use of voice technologies in their course.1 Therefore, this indicates there is an opportunity to explore the use of voice technologies in the assessment process.

One reason for the low uptake of the use of audio technology is that often the logistics of audio collection are challenging. Issues like file formats, codecs, collection and distribution makes the prospect of working with audio daunting.

Changing technology, the availability of software and smart phones has made audio more accessible in assessment processes. Here are some ways audio in assessment is being used (and could be used).

  • BNIT: have a custom built flash application that allows the collection of student responses to questions. QVDC have done a video about their use of audio in assessment –
  • Substitute your text for audio: A Children’s Services assessor once told me that a challenge they face is that an assessor can work onsite and ask a staff member questions about the service. However, students are assessed on their ability to respond to written questions. After talking about audio, she decided to convert her online quiz questions to be in audio, rather than text. So students got used to listening to questions and then responding.
  • Substitute their text for audio: Consider ways for your students to collect audio rather than text for their responses. For example, find out what devices your students use (eg mobile phones) then work with them to collect audio evidence. There are a number of apps and software that can support you with this.

Investigate what you can do with your learning management system. There are many new plug-ins that you can use, that can help add more audio to your assessments.

Have a look at the project we did with Spectrum Organisation –

If you aren’t sold on the use of audio in your assessments, this video has some great ideas!

How could you use audio in your assessments? Share your ideas in the comments or tell us on Facebook!


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