Update on Audio eAssessment

And the third part of the project update:

To inform the discussions around using multimedia in eAssessment beyond some current models where audio or video are used as the stimulus to a question (i.e. students playback a file and then reflect or comment on this via text response), an opportunity arose to work with a well-regarded external company with experience in this area at scale – Learnosity. Shortly afterwards, a teaching and learning research study required a mobile-based investigation into how to reuse some DVD-ROM resources where students currently can record their own voice on desktops, to practice and compare with model answers.

The Learnosity ‘Voice Response’ system seemed appropriate for customisation for OU usage, working with the L120 Intermediate French research group. Using a keypad based navigation system (akin to phone banking), students can access the next available formative speaking and listening exercise based on resources already available to them on DVD-ROM. Depending on the question type, it is also possible for students to take part in a structured conversation, to hear their voice interspersed between the prompts played back in review mode at the end of the activity – a feature unavailable on DVD-ROM. Students can then review any of the activities online and comment further (with the option for tutors to comment also if submitted for validation).

Although usage within the study is currently lower than expected due to timing, the Learnosity approach has also now been offered more widely to L120 students as part of revision work they can undertake over summer in preparation for their ECAs. Extending the usability of the web interface further for full review of activities while mobile, Learnosity are also in the final stages of implementing an iPhone application to get around the limitations of Adobe Flash audio visualisation and playback on devices, and to feed back to our own OU development teams who are interested/tasked with creating mobile applications.

The majority of current efforts to provide for a Mobile VLE do concentrate around improving (mobile) web access to course websites, learning from the OU Library and StudentHome mobile approaches. It has also been discussed and accepted that in order to support intermittent connectivity and potentially large downloads of mixed media, the OU also need to investigate application development further, which complements work underway in KMi and IET on adaptations from other fixed media and also on learning objects.

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