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To give a single, summary comment, you could alternatively:

  • Upload Create sound files using eg Audacity, and upload as feedback in Moodle Assignment - Moodle now makes this easy to do in bulk rather than laboriously student by student, and it will be linked from UCL MyFeedback.
  • Speak directly into Turnitin Assignment's general feedback recorder; however this allows only 3 minutes and is uneditable.
  • Record yourself in person discussing the work with the student, then upload those files to a Moodle Assignment - with Moodle you can upload feedback without students needing to submit anything digital(even if students have not submitted anything digital themselves, staff can still upload feedback).
  • If you are marking exercises, you could make an a screencast recording of yourself live-marking the work.

All of these are free to UCL staff.

There are other technologies for giving contextualised audio comments i.e. attached to individual paragraphs and capable of more specificity. However, these either use proprietary technologies (Adobe Acrobat Professional) which cost money, or they do not work on every platform, or generate very large files.


Dr Chris Evans from UCLIC, who has researched audio feedback, recommends:

  • An external mic is desirable though not essential (avoids picking up sounds from inside your computer).
  • Record student ID at the start.
  • Save the file first.
  • Try recording without editing.
  • Leave in some errors - they humanise the asessor.
  • Upload at UCL, using its higher upload speeds than you probably have at home.


  • 1.
  • Carruthers C, McCarron B, Bolan P, Devine A, McMahon-Beattie U, Burns A. “I like the sound of that” – an evaluation of providing audio feedback via the virtual learning environment for summative assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 2015 Apr 3;40(3):352–70.
  • Chiang, I. A., 2009. Which audio feedback is best?: Optimising audio feedback to maximise student and staff experience. A Word In Your Ear 2009. Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus. 18 December 2009.

  • Crisp, B., 2007. Is it worth the effort? How feedback influences students' subsequent submission of assessable work. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 32(5), 571-581.

  • Emery, R. & Atkinson, A. 'Group Assessment Feedback: The Good the Bad and the Ugly'. A Word In Your Ear 2009.  Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus. 18th December 2009. Available at: http://research.shu.ac.uk/lti/awordinyourear2009/docs/emery-atkinson-Solent_Audio_Feedback_paper.pdf .

  • Evans, C., and Palacios, L., 2010. Using Audio to Enhance Learner Feedback. In: Proceedings of the Education and Management Technology (ICEMT), 2010 International Conference. 2-4 November 201, Cairo. Pp. 148–151. IEEE. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5657683/.

  • King, D., S. McGugan, and N. Bunyan. 2008. “Does it makes a Difference? Replacing Text with Audio Feedback.” Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 3 (2): 145–163.
  • Lunt T, Curran J. “Are you listening please?” The advantages of electronic audio feedback compared to written feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 2010 Dec;35(7):759–69. 

  • Merry, S. & Orsmond, P., 2008. Students' attitudes to and usage of academic feedback provided via audio files. Bioscience Education Journal, 11. Available at: https://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/EngageinFeedback/Students_attitudes_to_podcasts.pdf .

  • Milanowski, T., 2009. e-Feedback for formative assessment: can it improve student learning and assessment efficiency? A Word In Your Ear 2009.  Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus. 18th December 2009. Available at: http://research.shu.ac.uk/lti/awordinyourear2009/docs/Tony-Milanowski-E-feedback.pdf.

  • Nie, M. et al., 2010. The role of podcasting in effective curriculum renewal. ALT-J Research in Learning Technology, 18(2), 105 – 118.

  • Pachler, N., Daly, C., Mor, Y., and Mellar, H., 2010. Formative e-assessment: Practitioner cases. Computers & Education, 54, 715-721.

  • Rotherham, B., 2008. Using an MP3 recorder to give feedback on student assignments. Available at: http://sites.google.com/site/soundsgooduk/downloads.

  • Rust, C., 2001. A Briefing on Assessment of Large Groups. Available at:https://nursing-midwifery.tcd.ie/assets/director-staff-edu-dev/pdf/AssessingLargeGroups-ChrisRust.pdf