In the last post, I shared an experience of teachers using Moodle to provide an audio version of a common assessment. Well, the results are in. The teachers are happy as the process was more efficient for them than reading the test to each student. They remarked that they were able to test several students at once (about 10). More importantly, they were able to assist students that needed help while the other students were listening to the test.
Of course, this led to a discussion of how we could make this even better. This test was a paper/pencil test with the questions in a fixed order. The answers were also in a fixed order. However, our teachers love the ability of Moodle to shuffle test questions and answers within those questions. So, is it possible to record the test question within the test question itself? Would there be a reason to limit audio to certain students? Or, would it be OK for all of the students to have access to the audio version of the test questions? What about shuffling the answers?
Moodle will allow for an audio version of the question to be included within the question itself. Answers work the same way. Thus, if a teacher wants to read the question and answers, Moodle will provide an avenue for this to happen. This means that teachers could shuffle the answers within the presentation of each question.
Thus, the question would work like this for a student. The student would see the question text and an audio player right under the question text. The answers would similarly have an audio player under the response. The screenshot below shows what this looks like.
The students can click on the “play” button to hear each item. Since the teacher has recorded the question, it is a familiar voice. This is not speech recognition software at work. These are audio files recorded by the teacher.
The end result is fabulous news. Assessments can leverage the power of Moodle and provide accommodations to those students who need them (or all students). Providing an audio version of the assessment can meet the needs of a wide variety of students. The audio version can help students truly identify what they know. Additionally, some of the national tests are now including audio portions.
However, there are some negatives as well. There is not an audio recorded built in to Moodle. This increases the work flow since the audio is recorded in a different application and then linked. Also, some of the national tests don’t allow any accommodations. Thus, there will be the argument for “preparing” students.
Next up will be working on a system to allow students to read and record questions. I always liked to have the students write test questions. I would use some of the student created questions on the exam. Now, I’d like to think of a way to have the students write and record questions in a way that the teacher could accept the questions for use.
At the end of the day, this is a truly powerful opportunity. The ability to provide students with another means of accessing the questions to prove what they know is really cool. It helps students. It keeps the power of Moodle in place in terms of reporting, restrictions, reuse and more.