Case study: Audio and video feedback


Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Bristol

Tools used




  • To save time spent producing feedback - it takes less time to produce detailed audio-visual comments than written comments.
  • To create high quality and effective feedback for students
  • To asses the suitability of Audio feedback accross multiple discplines


A combination of audio-visual and written feedback was provided on students’ written projects at level 2, advanced Spanish. This was initially done using Jing screencasting software and Beatriz is now using the Re/Play Desktop Recorder. Students write 2000 words on a topic related to their area of study (the students come from different disciplines e.g. law, geography, economics, engineering.) The projects are divided into three 650 word sections, which are submitted individually for formative feedback.

Screencasting software can be used to record anything you can see on your computer screen and the corresponding audio. When giving feedback on essays, an advantage of using screencasting is that the student can see his/her document and listen to the explanations as the tutor highlights and/or corrects a sentence or a paragraph. It also allows you to give more detailed explanations without having to write a long paragraph of text.

What was done

Previously Beatriz used a slightly different approach in which she provided corrections on the text. In this latest iteration she provides guidance so that students can self-correct, this was based on student feedback.

The process works as follows:

  1. Students submit a draft of one section at a time to Blackboard
  2. Beatriz downloads the work from the Blackboard Gradecentre and, using Microsoft Word, highlights and indicates the type of error that has been made, using a code system for which students are given a key containing examples
  3. She then makes a screencast in which she provides audio-visual feedback - see example screencast
  4. Beatriz copies a link to the audio-visual feedback on to the student’s annotated Word document, with a copy of the key at the end for reference - see ‌Beatriz Arias feedback sheet (PDF, 192kB)
  5. The annotated Word document is returned to the student via My Grades in Blackboard
  6. The student reviews the feedback and self-corrects using the key and the audio-video feedback as a guide
  7. The student puts all of the sections together, incorporating their corrections, and submits this for summative assessment worth 25% of their unit grade.


The students were asked to fill out a short evaluation form about their experience of this method of feedback‌. Beatriz also recorded a video of some of the feedback (see top of page). They identified a number of benefits:

  • More personal and memorable feedback
  • Helps students overcome misunderstandings
  • Explanations in depth
  • Caters for different learning styles
  • Helps with practicising listening skills
  • Transferable to other disciplines*

Some of the comments from students were:

  • “…easy and engaging system…”
  • “…experience felt more personal…”
  • “…less intimidating than receiving a paper full of red biro marks…”
  • “…much like having the teacher beside me in class…”
  • “…nicer to be able to hear someone’s comments on your work…”
  • “…provided a good opportunity to practice my listening skills…”
  • “…it could improve the way in which more mathematical-based work is given feedback as explanation of errors could be communicated more clearly and demonstrated visually…”
  • “…it would work for both essays and research reports, to give more detailed feedback than we currently receive…”

Beatriz highlighted the following benefits from the marker perspective:

  • Explanations can be provided orally in the target language which reinforces students' listening skills
  • She found she could provide more in-depth feedback which was of greater quality and more useful to students than simply written comments.
  • Screencasting has a number of other potentially useful applications e.g. to provide generic/ group feedback


  • It is important to provide positive feedback on what the students have done well, in addition to highlighting areas for improvement
  • In languages consider when it is appropriate to use the target language to provide feedback. For beginners it may be more appropriate to use English
  • Allow time to get used to the tool you are using. Once familiar with the tool Beatriz found that providing feedback in this format took less time than it would take to provide the same detailed feedback just in written format
  • Keep videos short. Beatriz found videos of five to ten minutes were sufficient, helping the students to engage with the feedback
  • Focus on two or three points in each section to aide clarity for the students

Further information

This presentation (Beatriz Arias presentation audio-visual feedback (PDF, 408kB) was given by Beatriz on 12th June 2015 at University of Nottingham, in collaboration with School of Cultures, Linguistics and Area Studies at the "Encuentro ELE-UK 2015" conference. It includes a section on benefits of audio feedback

 * 76% of students responded very positively to the provision of this form of feedback in their main subject (eg History, Maths and Geography)