An unexpected advantage of working online has been the need to explore the functions available through existing technology and how they can develop our practice. After discussions with helpful colleagues, I discovered how straightforward it is to share audio feedback using Microsoft Teams.
You can access audio feedback in a couple of ways. First, you can insert audio feedback using Class Notebook, a great tool for allowing pupils to work collaboratively on a document. The whole class can work on the document at the same time or can be organised into groups.
As you watch pupils type "live", you can insert audio to the page. Simply click "insert", choose "audio" and select the area of the page you would like to add the feedback.
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Secondly, you can add multiple audio clips to the one document. If pupils are working on a task one period, and you want to continue using the same document in the next, you can add another clip further down the page to support their learning. Teams allows you to add clips of over three minutes, which will give the pupils in-depth feedback that would take 10 minutes or so to write.
Online learning: Giving audio feedback through Microsoft Teams
Another great use of audio feedback is through "assignments" on Teams. I have found this particularly useful for extended pieces of writing, and being able to add audio is a time saver.
You can do this by accessing Class Notebook and then creating a page with your title and task. Then create an assignment and select "add resources" under the instructions heading. Here, you can select Class Notebook and attach your task. Once it is set you can see pupils typing in real time and you will also be able to "insert" audio feedback to the Notebook document.
Not only is it a great way to reduce workload, but it has also been beneficial for the pupils in my classes. Through Microsoft Forms, I asked pupils their thoughts on the audio feedback: all who answered found it helpful and informative. Pupils also said they felt it was more personal than written comments and it was like being back in the classroom.
Under the present circumstances, using audio on Teams is a good alternative to sitting beside a pupil in class and giving individualised feedback. It is a strategy that has reduced my workload and provided my pupils with in-depth support they can revisit to enhance their learning.
Leanne Welsh is an English teacher at Bearsden Academy in East Dunbartonshire, in Scotland. She tweets @lcatherineteach