Academics experience that by using the Recorded Audio Feedback (RAF) in higher education they can give more relaxed and dialogic feedback for their learners and reduce their own workload both mentally and physically.
Recorded Audio Feedback (RAF) is one method for providing feedback for learners that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in e-Education. RAF can be defined as formative or summative messages that are recorded and distributed by academics as digital audio files to individual learners or learner groups in response to both on-going and submitted work. Academics’ experiences of using recorded audio feedback (RAF) in higher e-Education were studied at the University of Jyväskylä in the Faculty of Information Technology and at the Tampere University of Technology.
– Based on case academics’ experiences they felt that by using RAF they can provide learners more relaxed and dialogic feedback. Academics could use their tone of voice to add semantics, for example be supportive, instructive, critical in constructive way, motivational or conversational. This way the participants also felt relaxed when talking to their learners via RAF and that RAF is personal and fun to work with, says Senior Lecturer Anneli Heimbürger from the University of Jyväskylä.
– At the same time academics reduce their own workload both mentally and physically. The cognitive load decreased when speaking the dialect of his/her own instead of using literary language, as usual in emails. For physical aspects, for example eyestrain decreases with RAF compared to working with display terminals. Participants reported approximated 30% — 50% saving of working time compared to time used when writing feedback via emails, tells Senior Lecturer Ville Isomöttönen from the University of Jyväskylä.
– RAF is also pedagogically flexible. All case academics reported the scalability of RAF, in other words that RAF can be used with different types of learners’ writing assignments such as course reports, group works, individual works, learning diaries, theses and article drafts, continues Heimbürger.
According to previous studies, most learners have an overall positive attitude towards RAF. However, many of the studies have been carried out only from learners’ point of view.
– To complement RAF research, the aim of our study was to shed light on how academics experience using RAF as a feedback method, explains Lecturer Harri Keto from Tampere University of Technology.
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