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Student perceptions of the value of audio and video feedback in facilitating language learning.

Organ, Alison (2015) Student perceptions of the value of audio and video feedback in facilitating language learning. In: ELSIN 2015, 1-3 July 2015, University of Exeter. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Focus and rationale
This paper reports on a research project which aimed to investigate university student perceptions of the impact of audio/video feedback on foreign language learning. The project was funded by the university’s Learning and Teaching Development directorate in order to provide innovative evidence-informed practice addressing the university’s Principles of Feedback.
Research aims
The project examined whether students had any preference between written, audio and video feedback, and whether their response varied according to the type of assignment (written or oral). Finally, it explored the extent to which students act on such feedback in order to enhance their future learning.
Theoretical / conceptual foundation
As previous studies have focussed on the relative merits of different tools and methods from the teacher’s point of view, and because the use of the lecturer-on-camera method was innovative, our interest lay in the students’ perceptions of the impact of these methods on their learning.
Context of the study
The project was conducted at a small university in the North of England where Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are available for study both at degree level and as part of the Institution-Wide Language Programme. Most MFL modules are assessed by means of an e-portfolio of formative and summative work. It is therefore important to provide feedback which the students can act on to improve their final performance.
Methodology and methods
A survey was created and sent to all students (n=130) who had received audio or video feedback in the current semester (January-May, 2013-14). 37 responses were received and analysed by the lead academic and a research assistant. The unit of analysis was the individual students, as our interest lay in their perception of the feedback rather than in any comparison of their performance as a group.
The limitations of the project were the relatively low number of students taking part and the lack of tracked evidence to substantiate whether the feedback had a beneficial effect on their performance. However, it was for this reason that a qualitative rather than quantitative project was undertaken.
Description of results
The findings showed that while few of the students saw any benefit in video feedback showing the lecturer on camera, some still valued written feedback for its ease of access and comprehension, and many valued audio/screencast feedback. When asked to comment on the impact on their learning, again the majority of positive comments concerned audio/screencast feedback. Students note that it renders corrections easier and more memorable. It also encourages an active response to the feedback, as students report making notes while they listen. An unexpected spin off of the project was that it led to discussions with the Student Support team, who saw real potential in the provision of audio feedback for students with dyslexia or other learning difficulties.
Conclusions
The project findings corroborated our perception that audio/screencast feedback is welcomed by students and that the audio/video medium can enhance their engagement with the feedback.
Relevance of contribution for research and practice
The positive outcome of the study has since resulted in extended use of such tools in the department. One possible next step would be to explore links between students’ learning needs or styles and their response to different types of feedback. Our findings resonate with those of previous researchers such as Brick & Holmes (2008) and Wilkinson (2013), who call for further research to substantiate the benefits of audio feedback for enhanced accessibility and inclusivity.
Keywords Audio feedback, screencast, video feedback, language teaching, inclusivity

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: ELSIN is the Education, Learning, Styles, Individual Differences Network. The theme of the 2015 conference was The Relevance of Styles to Educational and Workplace Contexts.
Status: Unpublished
Related URLs:
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
School/Department: School of Languages & Linguistics
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1407

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