Exploring the Efficacy of Audio Email Feedback in Information Management Assessment (ExAEF Project) : Final Report

Macgregor, George and Spiers, Alex and Taylor, Chris (2009) Exploring the Efficacy of Audio Email Feedback in Information Management Assessment (ExAEF Project) : Final Report. [Report]

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    Abstract

    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. A quasi-experimental study employing qualitative techniques for triangulation was conducted to formally evaluate the efficacy of formative audio feedback on student learning in a web technologies module. We focussed on the delivery of 'voice emails' to undergraduate students (n = 66) and attempted to 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 indicated that audio feedback better conforms to existing models of ‘quality’ formative feedback as defined by the pedagogical research, 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 to the control group. The benefits to be gained when using audio feedback has led to its wider adoption within information and computer science teaching practice and greater use of formative assessment in taught modules.