Leaving audio feedback using GradeMark

Microphones Rusty Sheriff (2007): http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustysheriff/4880169398/ (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Are you using GradeMark in Turnitin to provide feedback to students? Did you know you can now record audio feedback on student assignments?

You can record up to three minutes of feedback on each student assignment allowing you to personalise your feedback. In the Sounds Good JISC project students remarked positively on receiving audio feedback commenting on the personal nature and level of detail provided. (Rotheram 2009a) Some students in this study did comment that they would like both audio and written feedback and you can still use the QuickMarks and general comments in GradeMark to leave written feedback if required.

How do I record audio feedback in GradeMark?

The attached guidance note provides step-by-step instructions on how to record audio feedback in GradeMark:  Providing audio feedback with GradeMark

So what do I need to get started?

  • You need to be using GradeMark in Turnitin to mark your students’ assignments
  • A microphone (An external microphone usually produces a better sound quality)
  • A quiet room to record the audio feedback. The MILL has two Podcast rooms that you can book to record your audio feedback – these provide a quiet space and the AV equipment that you need in order to record your audio feedback. Please send a calendar invite to video@city.ac.uk indicating the length of time that you would like to book a podcast room for and a member of the MILL team will respond to your request.

Tips on preparing audio feedback

  • Focus on the quality of the feedback as opposed to the quality of the recording. Don’t feel like you have to correct small speaking errors by re-recording. You can correct these as you would do in conversation. Do avoid poor quality audio as this can deter from the quality of your feedback.
  • Structure your feedback. Prepare a draft of the key points you would live to cover before you record.
  • Try to stay positive. Even when providing developmental feedback try to end on a positive note.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Make explicit how the feedback can contribute to the student development.  (JISC 2010; Rotheram 2009b)


JISC (2010) Audio Feedback [online] Available from: http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/audio/advice/audio-feedback (Accessed: 21.5.12)

Rotheram, B. (2009a) Sounds good: Quicker, better assessment using audio feedback [online] Available from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/reports/2009/soundsgoodfinalreport.aspx (Accessed 21.5.12)

Rotheram, B. (2009b) Practice tips on using digital audio for assessment feedback [online] Available from: http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/ced/conference/2009/Audio_feedback_tips_3_Rotheram.pdf (Accessed: 21.5.12)

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4 thoughts on “Leaving audio feedback using GradeMark

  1. This looks like a great idea, however its shame it couldnt be instead of written feedback as it would contribute to the workload. Also if it was a substitute for written how would that be presented to externals and boards?

  2. Hi Lorna, Lecturers could leave just audio feedback; however students often ask for written aswell as audio feedback. Julie Attenborough spoke at the Cass showcase yesterday about the audio feedback project at SHS where students showed a preference for audio and written feedback to be given together. In order to make this more manageable Julie mentioned giving group audio feedback and then providing personalised written feedback (you could use audacity to record group feedback and then upload into Moodle) Do you think this could be a solution? Maybe it could be flipped – personalised audio feedback and group written feedback?

    Externals could get access to Turnitin in order to listen to the feedback and we could add to the guidance already available for externals on how to do this. There is a great google site from QMU on audio feedback which has a section on audio feedback and externals which mentions that feedback from externals has been positive


  3. Hi Lorna and Olivia,
    I found Julie Attenborough’s presentation very useful, and can see your point of view Lorna concerining additional work. So I wonder if one could also consider a group written feedback,
    plus individual audio feedback. This might be appropriate for specific types of coursework where students work in groups: so the group could get written feedback, with individual audio feedback. I teach a good deal using group work, and think this might work for the students, and not add to the teacher workload. Must say there is an element that needs considering: if students are offered a package of feedback in several different forms they may well want the whole package! This is unrealistic in terms of workload and size of student cohort. So is it really about finding the most effective form that the majority of students want and like on a specific course?


    1. Hi Angela,
      I do like the idea of group written feedback and individual audio feedback and this could help in terms of not adding to the marking and feedback workload.

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