Now that we are in the era of cloud-based teaching and learning (think: G-Suite, Classroom, Edmodo, etc.), it’s important to consider how the workflow from student to teacher gets managed.  While it is wonderful to strive to be paperless, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to enable students to turn in work digitally and receive feedback quickly. But there is a solution that can help with student projects and written work—voice grading. 

Voice grading is the process of recording your own voice to provide feedback on your students’ work. It’s as easy as sitting face to face with students and having a great conversation. And because people speak faster than they write, evaluating your students’ work with voice grading takes half the time. 

Talk and Comment – Getting Started

Our favorite tool for voice grading is a widget called Talk and Comment. With Talk and Comment, you can embed short voice recordings into student work and quickly return your feedback using Google classroom, a shared folder, or an email link.

  1. Install the Talk and Comment widget from your Chrome browser.  

    The Talk and Comment widget.

  2. Go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/ and search for “Talk and Comment”.  Add it to your Chrome browser as an extension.  
  3. When finished, the tool will appear in the upper right extension bar near the Customize/Settings tool. 
  4. Next, Talk and Comment will ask to enable your microphone. Once you select yes, you’ll see the Talk and Comment (TandC) widget on the right-side edge of your pages. Mouse over the top of it to pop it out and start recording.  
  5. Click on the bubble and start talking.  Notice that the timer automatically starts.  Click the red X to start over again if you make a mistake; click the green check to accept your recording.

  6. Once you have completed your recording, a large yellow box will appear with your link. It has been copied and is ready to paste anywhere.

Where to Use Voice Grading with Talk and Comment

Google Docs 

Great for grading student assignments, putting comments on rubrics, adding suggestions on rough drafts, etc.

  1. In the student document, highlight a block of text.  Click on the TandC tool on the right and record your comments about that sentence/phrase/paragraph.
  2. When the yellow link box appears, click OK.

  3. Enable Comments by selecting the gray comment tool at the right.
  4. Paste your recording link there and click on the blue Comment button.

  5. Your recording is now playable.  Share the document with your student. Since this voice comment is associated with a block of text, the student can make changes and “resolve” the comment just like any other typed feedback.

Google Slides 

  1. Select an object on the slide (text block, picture, link), and click on the TandC icon to record and copy the link. Click on the Comment tool and paste.  
  2. Students will be able to play your voice on the appropriate slide in their presentation if this file is shared.

Google Drawings

  1. In the student’s drawing file, select an object such as a shape, block of text or graphic.  Click the TandC tool to make your recording and copy the link.
  2. Paste the link into a comment on the right side.  Now you can share back the student’s work and they’ll hear your comments about the work in progress, what they did on the grading rubric, or their final grade with details.

Gmail

Great for adding details thought and analysis or emphasis to your messages.

  1. Compose a new email message to a student/parent/group.  Record your message using the TandC widget.  After the link is copied, paste it into your message.  
  2. From your view, it looks like a typical link.  When the recipient opens the message, they’ll see a play button within your message.

To Learn More

Students will love hearing verbal feedback from you, and you’ll love how quickly you’ll be able to provide feedback. Plus, you’ll be able to provide more detail and ensure your students understand how you feel with the added bonus of having voice inflection. Try it with your students and show them how to add “Talk and Comment” to their own Chrome account to do peer editing and feedback with each other.  

I hope you try this and let us know your ideas for using voice grading in your lessons.  Email us your classroom success stories and ideas at training@teq.com.

To learn more about instructional technology for your classroom, take a look at our other blog posts at Teq.com/blog.