Conference Papers

“Take care of the sense and the sounds take care of themselves”: First year undergraduate Education Studies students’ experience of digital audio feedback

Previous studies on audio feedback – where markers digitally record assignment feedback as an mp3 file which is then integrated or returned with the assignment – have highlighted how it has the potential to save academics’ time, as well as being a medium preferred by students. On a performative level, these may be important in the wider national context, where NSS survey results consistently show lower satisfaction scores for assessment and feedback than for other aspects of students’ learning experience (and with one eye on the impending Teaching Excellence framework). However, such studies have predominantly utilised a quantitative approach, with little research focused on the potential emotional impact of audio feedback, its affordance as a relational medium, its role in any dialogic learning process, or indeed, how its use could affect student understanding of the feedback process itself. These, it is argued, are of crucial importance in understanding the role of feedback, particularly when set in the wider discourses of an increased use of blended learning approaches that cater for the needs of a supposed new generation of digital learners, and the dehumanising effect that such learning and teaching approaches may engender. This paper will report on the findings of both an extensive literature review and a year-long phenomenological study, utilising interviews with first year Education Studies students, exploring their experience of audio feedback in the context of these issues, as well as those of their learning preferences, engagement and sense of studentship.

Dixon, S. (2016) '“Take care of the sense and the sounds take care of themselves”: First year undergraduate Education Studies students’ experience of digital audio feedback', paper presented to The 12th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 30 June-01 July, viewed 05 July 2020, <https://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=5482>