Exploratory evaluation of audio email technology in formative assessment feedback

  • George Macgregor
  • Alex Spiers
  • Chris Taylor
Keywords: audio feedback, audio technology, formative assessment, voice email


Formative assessment generates feedback on students’ performance, thereby
accelerating and improving student learning. Anecdotal evidence gathered by a
number of evaluations has hypothesised that audio feedback may be capable of
enhancing student learning more than other approaches. In this paper we report on
the preliminary findings of a quasi-experimental study employing qualitative
techniques for triangulation, conducted to evaluate the efficacy of formative audio
feedback on student learning. We focus on the delivery of ‘voice emails’ to
undergraduate students (n = 24) and evaluate the efficacy of such feedback in
formative assessment and ergo students’ learning, as well as achieving a better
understanding of students’ feedback behaviour post-delivery. The results indicate
that audio feedback better conforms to existing models of ‘quality’ formative
feedback, can enhance the student learning experience and can be more efficient
in feedback delivery. Despite this, and high levels of feedback re-use by student
participants, the audio treatment group underperformed in learning tasks when
compared with the control group. Differences between the groups were not
statistically significant and analyses of individual and mean learning gains across
the treatment group provide little indication of improvements in learning.


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How to Cite
Macgregor G., Spiers A., & Taylor C. (1). Exploratory evaluation of audio email technology in formative assessment feedback. Research in Learning Technology, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v19i1.17119
Original Research Articles