Students record some audio sample, which may be a speech or a musical performance. This recording is submitted for instructor or peer assessment. Alternative is for the student to analyze a given audio recording and submit a report.

Appropriate Content Areas

Especially applicable to speech, second language acquisition, music, education, law, and political science

Goals and Objectives

The goal of this project will partly be dependent on the field being addressed. In music, the goal may be to develop a specific musical skill set. For a speech, the goals could be grammar, speech inflection, overall quality, persuasiveness, etc. In education, the audio recording could be anything from an audio journal to classroom discourse. In political science or law the goal may be argument development or articulation. There are many possibilities. Below are some sample statements.


  • …use language effectively in a persuasive speech…
  • …observe the speech patterns in a given discussion for key points applicable to the current content…
  • …translate the given speech…
  • …organize oral discourse…


  • …perform a given work…
  • …analyze a given audio for concepts…
  • …summarize points of musical theory performed in a given piece…


  • …effectively perform a given lesson plan…
  • …interview students about a given concept using the suggested methodology…
  • …analyze student speech patterns…


  • …present an effective persuasive argument…
  • …evaluate the given oral arguments…
  • …critically analyze a given discourse…
  • Second Language Aquisition:
    • …perform a given speech act…
    • …peer review and evaluate other student speech acts…


Student will need the background information required to prepare the speech or the musical ability through practice or natural talent for the given musical work. Student should also have citation skills to report on any sources. An ability to circumvent a physical disability may also be necessary in some cases.

Materials and Resources

What needs to be prepared in advance by the teacher? The assignment description needs to be prepared. A method for student submission of audio assignments needs to be developed. Possibilities of submission include podcasting resources, file space in an online submission database, or a mailing address for physical recordings to be sent.

What does the student need to bring to the lesson? The student will need to acquire any necessary audio recording equipment. Some computer technical skill may be required for podcasting assignments.

Guiding Questions for this Activity

Is there a main question being answered by the lesson? Usually there will be a question, but as shown under goals and objectives, it can vary widely. The question may be as open as how well can you talk in the given context to learning keys of oral persuasion or performance of a given musical act.

Activity Outline and Procedure

How will the materials be presented?

  • The outline includes generating proper learning set in students such as lesson focus and purpose with connections to personal needs and interests.
  • The students are presented the project and what the expectations are.
  • During the project, students may be required to journal their process for reflective learning or to videotape procedures to verify academic honesty.
  • Don’t forget closure. Discuss the final product, perhaps in a synchronous session to help the student develop critical analysis of artistic impressions.

Teaching Strategies

  • Organize and present the activity so that the actual learning objectives are addressed. Most people can record a piece of audio, but is it the right audio for the purpose.
  • Be specific. The more specific the assignment, the more difficult it is for students to cheat. At the same time, with some artistic impressions, there needs to be a lot of lattitude in student judgment.
  • Don’t let the technology get in the way. Try to simplify through tutorials any technology requirements of the process.
  • The application of a rubric can help make assessment more objective.


What accommodations may be needed for students with disabilities or other special needs? Students with physical disabilities may require more time to complete certain kinesthetic acts. Furthermore, accommodations to assignments would need to be made for mute individuals (perhaps taking the course for an understanding of English speech rather than speaking ability directly) on speech acts and for certain physical disabilities as needed for the given context of the assignment and curriculum.


How much time would a typical online student require to complete such a lesson? Assuming that there will be several days of preparation at the least, an online instructor must also add on time for technology issues and instruction for such an assignment.

Ideas for Activity Evaluation and Teacher Reflection

How was student learning verified? The actual product and its value are primary judgments of learning.

How did the students like the lesson? End of semester evaluations should ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities.

Free Audio Recording and Editing Software

Students could make use of any number of applications that are available for purchase. They could also use an audio recording device such as an iRiver or iPod with microphone. On a computer, several free audio recording options are available. Here is a partial list.