Guidance on using Audio Feedback in Turnitin

Banner for Audio Feedback


Turnitin is an e-submission software that students use to submit their work and staff use to mark. Marking is done via Turnitin Feedback Studio that has many features, such as rubrics, grade forms, Quick Marks, feedback summaries, and inline comments. In this guide, we’ll be looking specifically at Audio Feedback, a feature of Turnitin that allows instructors to record their feedback summaries and students to listen to them back.

There are many advantages to using Audio Feedback and we are finding colleagues across the sector making use of this feature. A recent study on the impact of Audio Feedback by colleagues at the University of Liverpool highlights that ‘feedback quality and student satisfaction were […] higher for audio feedback than for written feedback’ (Voelkel & Mello, 2014.: 29). This study also highlighted that there is no difference in terms of learner progression and attainment from students who received audio or written feedback. However, the study did highlight that students were more likely to revisit written than audio feedback.

In order to support the increased use of Audio Feedback, we have put together this resource to help staff provide effective feedback for their students. If you’re interested in using audio feedback then our E-submission pages contain information on setting up Turnitin submission points and providing feedback.

Policies and Best Practice

Here at Aberystwyth University, we have a policy in place for assessment feedback (3.2.17), which can be found in the Assessment of Taught Schemes. The feedback principles apply to both written as well as audio feedback. Both audio and written feedback are not treated differently regarding these policies. Audio feedback should be structured in the same or similar way to written feedback, identifying strengths, weaknesses and points for improvement.

In addition to this, you might find the summary of Psychology’s Dr Gareth Norris, Dr Heather Norris, and Alexandra Brookes’ presentation entitled ‘Delivering Feedback through Audio Commentary’ from the 2018 Annual Learning and Teaching Conference useful. You can access a recording summary of that presentation online.

Tips on using Audio Feedback

1.      Plan your feedback

We all know how important feedback is to students, especially in terms of guidance on how to improve their performance in subsequent assignments. If you haven’t used Audio Feedback before, you might want to plan what you intend to say – if you bullet point the main parts of your feedback then it will allow you to say focused whilst you’re recording your feedback. Unlike written feedback, the length of time that you are able to record is limited to 3 minutes and this can go quite quickly. Having Audio feedback on Turnitin is limited to three minutes, and that can go quite quickly plan to make sure all your main points are covered. As with written feedback, it’s important the audio feedback still addresses the criteria of the assignment. See the point about planning, but also be explicit in your audio feedback about which part of the criteria your feedback is addressing.

2.      Consider tone

Adding an audio dimension to feedback means that the tone in which you are delivering has to be considered. Often, when we give feedback verbally, face-to-face, we are able to convey more meaning to the individuals, as well as pick up visible cues from the student receiving their feedback. We’ve got to be mindful that with audio feedback, the student will be accessing their feedback on their own. Make sure that you identify the positive aspects of the work, as well as parts that can be developed.

3.      Listen back to your audio feedback

It’s always strange to listen back to yourself talking, but for the first few times you use audio feedback, you can get a feel as to how the feedback sounds. Listening back to the feedback will allow you to ensure that the feedback is linked to the assessment criteria. Unfortunately there is no editing feature for audio feedback, but you are always able to delete and record again. Listening back to the feedback will also allow you to evaluate whether the feedback is addressing the criteria. In addition to this, it will enable you to identify whether you have recorded something that you don’t want to be recorded, such as the dog barking or a fire alarm sounding.

4.      Make sure students know how to access their feedback

Whilst students often make use of Turnitin to submit their assignments and access their feedback, it’s important to let students know that they will be accessing audio feedback on their assignments. Whilst we are seeing an increase in staff using audio feedback, we’ve got to remember that students might be accessing this feature for the first time. To access the feedback voice comment, students navigate to their assignment, open it up, and click on the play button in the feedback summary window:

As with any feedback, make sure that students know how to contact you if they have any queries regarding their feedback.

Some quick technical tips to help you use the audio feedback feature:

  • Use Chrome or Firefox to access Turnitin
  • You’ll be prompted to save the feedback – make sure that you do this by clicking on the save icon
  • Don’t toggle between assignments and close your assignment after you’ve finished marking

If you have any queries regarding using audio feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit.


Aberystwyth University. 2019. ‘Section 3: Assessment of Taught Schemes’ Academic Quality Handbook. Available online:—Chapter-3—v3-Sept-2019.pdf. Last Accessed 05.11.2019.

Voelkel, S. & Mello, L.  2014. ‘Audio Feedback – Better Feedback?’ in Bioscience Education. 22: 1. Pp. 16-30. Last accessed 04.11.2019.



Mini Conference Keynote: Working (Groups) in the Digital Age

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce Professor John Traxler as the keynote speaker at our forthcoming Mini Conference.

The mini conference will focus on Group Work and Group Assessment and will be held on Monday 16th December, 10:30am-4pm in B.03, Visualisation Centre.

You can book onto the event online.

Mini Conference Keynote: Working (Groups) in the Digital Age

Since the turn of the century, we have seen digital technologies evolve from being expensive, fragile, scarce, puny and difficult, often just institutional, to being powerful, ubiquitous, pervasive, easy, cheap and robust, now personal and social. In this time, they have changed the nature of the commodities, assets, transactions and organisation that constitute our economic lives; have challenged the certainties of political issues, affiliations and processes; in languages, we have seen the emergence of new vocabularies, genres and dialects; they have fuelled moral panics and catalysed new forms of harm, affront and misdemeanour.

Furthermore, they have given students the means and opportunities to generate, share, transform, discuss and access ideas, images, identities and information and in doing so have the potential to threaten the established professions, institutions and forms of education, to shift the ownership and control of what is known, who knows it and how it gets to be known.

This then is the world that graduates enter, the world of work transformed and un-work undefined. Universities take them from the structures and security of the school to worlds with neither. How can pedagogic formats like assessment and groupwork support this transition?

Submit your Blackboard Module for an Exemplary Course Award

Exemplary Course Award image

Applications for the Exemplary Course Award are now open.

The closing date for applications is 12pm, 31st January 2020. To submit an application, download the application form here and consult the guidance available on our webpages.

The Exemplary Course Award is designed to recognise exemplary practice in Blackboard modules. Since its launch in 2013, the Exemplary Course award has awarded 6 exemplary modules, 12 highly commended and 3 commended awards.

This year’s awards are slightly different. Although the Exemplary Course Award is still based on Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program Rubric, we have made some adjustments to emphasise the interactive uses of Blackboard to provide a blended learning environment for students. In addition to this, extra weighting has been given to the accessibility criteria to ensure that the Blackboard modules are accessible for all learners.

We will be running a training session for those of you who are considering submitting an application for the ECA on Thursday 12th December, 2pm-3pm in E3, E-learning Training Room and also on Friday 10th January, 2pm-3pm. You can book onto these sessions via the book a course pages.


Professor John Traxler – Mini Conference Presentation

Mini Conference Logo

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce Professor John Traxler as the keynote speaker at our forthcoming Mini Conference. The mini conference will focus on Group Work and Group Assessment and will be held on Monday 16th December.

John Traxler, FRSA, is Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton UK. He is one of the pioneers of mobile learning, associated with projects since 2001 when he was evaluator for m-learning, the first major EU project. He is a Founding Director and was Vice-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning. He is co-editor of the definitive, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, and of Mobile Learning: the Next Generation, available in Arabic, with Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, of Mobile Learning and Mathematics, Mobile Learning and STEM: Case Studies in Practice, and Mobile Learning in Higher Education: Challenges in Context, and many keynotes, panels, papers, articles and chapters on all aspects of learning with mobiles. His journal papers have been cited over 6000 times. He has worked on many digital learning projects and missions. His current thinking is focused less on ’mobile learning’ as previously conceived but rather on the impact of the near-universal availability of connected personal digital technology on the ownership, substance and nature of knowing and learning in our societies. 

The full programme will be announced in due course. In the meantime, you can book onto the event online. If you would like to submit a proposal to this year’s mini-conference, please fill in this online form before Monday 18th November.