Provide Grading Feedback With Audio and Video

Blackboard now allows you to embed an audio/video recording of your feedback as you grade attempts. This feature is available for all graded content, including assignments, graded discussions, or in the Grade Details area of any Grade Center column.

Why Provide Audio or Video Feedback?

Providing feedback using audio or video allows you to connect with your students, especially those at a distance. You can give them a glimpse of your personality and show them the real person behind the text. Creating this connection can make it easier to interact, share information, and ensure that your students don’t feel isolated.

Text-based feedback can lend itself to misinterpretation – students may weight all of the feedback equally or be overwhelmed by a lot of text on the page. Audio allows you to add tone and emphasis, perhaps even humor and support, while video allows you to add facial expressions and gestures.

How Do I Add Audio or Video Feedback in my Course?

You can add audio or video feedback on any gradable item in your course. To do so, access the Feedback to Learner area. You may do this directly from an Assignment or from within the Full Grade Center.

From within an Assignment:

From your student’s submission, navigate to the Assignment Details area. In the Feedback to Learner area, In the Feedback to Learner area, click on the Full Content Editor button. This will open the full text/content editor.
Screenshot of Feedback to Learner area of Assignment

For more information on grading assignments or accessing the students’ submissions, see Grading Assignments in myLesley.

From a Grade Center column:

Navigate to the Full Grade Center and hover your mouse over the item you wish to offer feedback. Click the chevron to open a menu and select Quick Comment.

screenshot of accessing Recording Feedback from within the Full Grade Center

Launch the Recorder:

From the Full Text/Content editor, click the Record Feedback Button (first button on the third row of the text/content editor).screenshot of record feedback button

This will launch the recorder. Click the video button to launch your webcam or click the record button to record audio only. Each recording may be a maximum length of five (5) minutes.screenshot of record feedback

Once you have finished recording, your audio or video recording will be added to the student’s feedback area. Detailed instructions for using the Record Feedback option may be found here: Record Audio and Video.

What if I want to upload a video I recorded elsewhere or provide my students with a screencast?

If you recorded a video in a different tool, you may upload it using the Kaltura Mashup Tool. You may also upload a video to Kaltura directly from your mobile device.

If you would like to record a screencast, you may use Kaltura CaptureSpace Lite.

Where can I find more information on providing feedback to my students?

To find out more about providing feedback to your students, check out the resources below:

 

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Reminder: Goodbye Voice Tools

Blackboard will discontinue the Voice Authoring tools on August 31, 2016.This set of tools includes Voice Authoring, Voice Board, Voice Podcaster, and Voice Email.

You can get all the whats and whys from our previous Goodbye Voice Tools post. Most importantly, if there is any content you wish to save, be sure to export it and save it to your computer before the end date. This tutorial will guide you through the process: Exporting and Importing Voice Authoring Content.

If you need assistance transitioning your content to other tools or archiving your Voice Authoring content, please email elis@lesley.edu. Remember the shut down date is August 31, 2016.

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Goodbye Voice Tools

Blackboard has announced that it will be discontinuing the Voice Authoring tools in myLesley. This set of tools include Voice Authoring, Voice Board, Voice Podcaster, and Voice Email.
Record audio

Why the Change?

The Voice Authoring tools are built using Java, a programming language that allows for the creation of interactive applications that can run within your web browser. Unfortunately, Java applications can also be a vehicle for malicious software and viruses. Web browsers therefore ask you if you want to allow the application run before it will do so, especially if you are in a password-protected site such as myLesley. The allow option in your web browser can often be very hidden or located in a different place in different browsers. Most people won’t even notice the allow option and will simply think the content or tool is broken.
blocked java

The end result is java applications such as Voice Authoring are technically quirky, confusing, frustrating and often just not worth the effort. Rather than redesign the tools, Blackboard has decided to discontinue them and partner with VoiceThread to allow the use of audio with images.

While not a direct replacement for Voice Authoring, VoiceThread does provide a new feature set to allow you to do more with your audio. To ease the transition, VoiceThread has put together a nice guide, How Does VoiceThread Compare to Voice Authoring, to help you conceptualize using VoiceThread in place of Voice Authoring.

 

When is This Happening?

Blackboard will officially discontinue access to the Voice Authoring tools on August 31, 2016. However, Lesley will lose access to these tools on June 30, 2016 when our license ends.

 

How can I save my Voice Authoring content?

You can export most of your voice content to your computer. This tutorial will guide you through the process: Exporting and Importing Voice Authoring Content. We recommend that you archive your content no later than June 15, 2016.

If you would like to reuse your voice content, you may import the audio files into VoiceThread or Kaltura.

 

Need Assistance?

If you need assistance transitioning your content to other tools or archiving your Voice Authoring content, please email elis@lesley.edu

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Using VoiceThread In Counseling Courses

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Student, Cheri Weber’s midtern created for Irle Goldman’s Human Development course.

WHY I LIKE AND USE VOICETHREAD In My Counseling Courses
By Irle Goldman, PhD

  1. Counseling is a relational, symbolic and creative experience. Having students describe it in a paper makes it too one-dimensional. It looses it’s depth and possibilities. Voicethread allows us to add pictures, voice, and video to create a richer, more useful and communicative product.
  2. Voicethread allows the students to see each other’s work and learn from it. You have a more relational/mutual educational experience.
  3. Voicethread allows students to react/respond to each others’ work in a way that’s easy to see and connect to. This helps to build community for the class.
  4. Voicethread allows you to see the whole picture… all of the classes creations in one screen; all the pages of individual creations in another screen. I get a better sense of the whole gestalt.
  5. Because of this, it is easier to mark. You can see what is included and missing in one-fell-swoop.
  6. What the students produce is much more interesting to read/see/hear.
  7. Because it uses so many modalities (kind of like life) the students tell me that it’s more interesting to create. They can start from a picture or a text or a song and build their piece of work around any of these and add to it and re-organize it.
  8. I have used it for projects, for midterms and for finals in my Theories of Counseling and Human Development classes.
  9. It is always available in the cloud.
  10. It can be archived in a student’s portfolio.

Challenges: It takes a while to learn how to connect and use it and I have not yet figured out the way to communicate with students individually on it.

Join Irle Goldman, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Faculty and Liv Cummins, Asst Professor of Drama and Literature for a lunchtime conversation about VoiceThread on Feb. 27th at 12pm in UNIV 3-098. They will discuss the different ways they have used VoiceThread in their courses and answer questions.

 

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World Drama Literature Conversations with VoiceThread

Screenshot form student, Sadie Allen's World at Play presentation created for Liv Cummins' World Drama Literature online course.

Student, Sadie Allen’s World at Play presentation created for Liv Cummins’ online World Drama Literature course.

According to the eLIS website, “VoiceThread allows you to place collections of media like images, videos, documents, and presentations at the center of a conversation. These conversations are not live; they take place whenever and wherever it’s convenient for people to participate. A VoiceThread allows people to have conversations and to make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a webcam, or uploading an audio file.”

To me, the key word in that definition is “conversation”: you can look at images and text slides, and talk about them at the same time through voice narration.  What attracted me to this tool was the way you can use voice to raise questions about images and text, just as you would in the face-to-face classroom.

In my online World Drama literature course, I used Voicethread as a vehicle for my students to present research projects on a dramatic work and time period.  I wanted to translate this assignment, the ‘World of the Play’ group project, from the face-to-face classroom to the online environment to maintain a learning goal for the course: to strengthen oral communication skills.  I also wanted Voicethread to help build our online community, allowing peers to truly talk to each other and connect with one another and, thus, increase their engagement in the course.

I also used this tool with another assignment where students create a set design, cartoon, or poster for a play – or, alternatively, write a series of poems or letters from one character to another – to explore a work’s characters, theme(s), and cultural / historical context.  They create their project and then present it in Voicethread to the class, narrating the rationale behind their creative choices.  At the end of both projects, students offer feedback in either voice or text format appearing with their picture, allowing student presenters to see their peers and hear (or read) their feedback, all in one place around one slide at the end of the project.

In the online classroom, a potentially sterile environment can be enlivened with the warmth of human interaction through voice.  Narrating a visual allows students to take ownership over the slides they choose to show, explaining choices and meaning to demonstrate their learning while strengthening oral communication skills.  The tool is flexible: you may want to use one slide only to discuss at length (a piece of art, for example), or many slides compiled together for a longer presentation.  You can also integrate video clips, making it easy to move from a video, to a photograph, to an image with text, for example, within one project.   Finally, students and faculty can discuss a project within that same project around one slide, making feedback easily accessible to post and refer to at any time.

There can be some difficulties with this tool, however, as with all technology.  You should probably assume most people are unfamiliar with Voicethread, so it’s a good idea to build in time to learn and use it within a course.  Also, you need a separate Voicethread account to access something within it, so again, in the beginning of a course, there can be some confusion around how to establish an account and then access it.  There are also some oddities of the tool, including issues around pausing in the midst of an audio clip to stay longer on one slide – which can be frustrating.  In the end, though, most of these problems can be conquered through practice.

I look forward to showing some Voicethread examples and discussing effective practices for the tool on 2/27.

Liv Cummins
Asst. Professor of Drama and Literature
Humanities Division, LA&PS

Join Liv Cummins, Asst Professor of Drama and Literature, and Irle Goldman, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Faculty, for a lunchtime conversation about VoiceThread on Feb. 27th at 12pm in UNIV 3-098. They will discuss the different ways they have used VoiceThread in their courses and answer questions.

 

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