Assessment of digitally recorded audio presentations

An Open University (OU) undergraduate course in religious studies (A332 Why is religion controversial?  ) added a requirement for a 3-minute audio recording to one of their assignments. This paper discusses how this was implemented and received, and what rubric was used to grade the presentations.

Sinclair, S. (2016) ‘The introduction and refinement of the assessment of digitally recorded audio presentations’, Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 163-175 [Online]. DOI: 10.1080/02680513.2016.1190640


  1. Introduction
  2. The case study
  3. Methodology
  4. Findings
    1. Assessment criteria
    2. Personal engagement, authenticity, and relevance
    3. Learning across different media
    4. Confidence with technology
  5. Conclusions


In this module, one assignment was created with two parts: a written essay (worth 75% of the assignment’s grade) and a 3-minute audio presentation of the main points in the written essay (worth 25% of the assignment’s grade). OU provided the students with an in-house audio recording tool (ART), but they also could choose to use any other recording tool including those on their mobile phones.

The students and teachers were given this rubric to assess the quality of the audio presentations, with equal weighting given to content and presentation skills:


Presentation skills

(Sinclair, 2016, p. 166)

What worked

What didn’t work

What they changed in response to feedback

See also

Kirkwood, A., & Price, L. (2008). Assessment and student learning: A fundamental relationship and the role of information and communication technologies. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 23, 5–16.

Kirkwood, A., & Price, L. (2013). Missing evidence of a scholarly approach to teaching and learning with technology in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 18, 327–337.

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