Thursday, March 28, 2013

Voice Recordings for Assessments

I teach Spanish, so I have always done speaking assessments. A couple of years ago I started doing them electronically. It doesn't use class time and students feel a little less pressured when they can do the assessments at home, instead of at my desk. These methods could be used for assessments in any subject area, storytelling, or for students who have a reading/writing disability to be able to complete an assignment orally.

I researched methods that were easy and would allow any student, with or without particular technology tools, to complete this. I have not had any student who was unable to complete the task at home, and completing it in school during down time or study hall would also be an option for them.

Tool #1
There is a free web application called Vocaroo. Assignments are recorded by talking to the computer and then emailing it to the teacher. You need a microphone (either external or internal) on your computer or laptop.

Tool #2
On a device like an iPod/iPad/Smartphone there are several voice memo or recording apps thatallow a student to record his or her voice and share via email. 

Tool #3
I have set up a Google Voice account. Students may call my number from any kind of phone (i.e. a land line) and leave a message like a voicemail. There are a couple of settings to tweak to get it to work properly but it was not difficult. The messages automatically go to my email and are archived in my Google account. The only glitch I found with this method is to be sure students introduce themselves during their recordings. Since there is no name attached like on an email, if you receive several voicemails, you might not know to whom they belong.

I get a chuckle from stories of students hiding in the bathroom with their cell phones or iPods to complete their speaking assessments.


  1. Vocaroom & google voice don't work with iPad!
    How about Soundcloud?

    1. I've had luck with both Google Voice and Vocaroo on iPad.