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Auditory Task – Less than one

April 26, 2011


I tried something a little bit different with a class today. The scheme of learning said that they should ‘understand the effects of multiplying and dividing by numbers less than one’.


It seemed like a good idea to try and let them find out for themselves rather than just tell them so I was left trying to work out how to set up the task. I decided to go for a sort of a challenge but also decided to record it and play this to the class rather than just write it down or display it for them. I’m not entirely clear about why I chose to so this but I was having a twitter conversation with Paul Benson (@psbenson) about podcasting and realised I not done anything with my microphone for a while.


This led to me thinking it would not be a bad idea to see what my students’ listening skills are like. Turns out, they’re quite mixed (although that’s no big surprise).


Things I liked:

·         It was different. The hook of my voice playing to them was enough to make them ‘sit up and listen’,

·         It emphasised the need to listen carefully – I only played it 3 times,

·         It reminded me how easy it was to record things and this will remind me to do more


Things I didn’t like:

·         It wasn’t a necessary use of technology. There was no need to have this question recorded,

·         Some students transcribed the recording into their book. I don’t mind that but I don’t know for definite why they did that.


Next steps:

I’ll try recording more things – I want to use a recording as a homework of some sort but I need to think about that more.




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  1. Anonymous permalink

    Re: things you didn’t like…I don’t see this particular use of technology as being "unnecessary".Some students are going to prefer an auditory presentation, and the lack of visual elements will likely help them, or at least be less of a distraction. Removing the ability to see the person speaking is probably done most authentically as a recording or a telephone call. Neither of these requires the same kind of attention as seeing and hearing a person speaking, so I see it as valuable from that point of view.The writing down could be related to kinaesthetic learning or some kind of learning related to movement, alternatively could be that verbal/visual learners need to see the words as well as hear them. Also the act of writing down may indicate a weakness in processing auditory information, perhaps because of over-use or over-emphasis on the visual elements…? If you don’t know why, then ask the Ss, it may be they just did it because they thought they had to…Variety of presentation of content/task also keeps the learning environment fresher too. It’d be interesting to hear others’ experience of doing something similar…

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Hi Colin – thanks for your comments.I’ve since had a bit of a change of heart about this and realised that just because we tend to give questions/tasks in written format doesn’t mean that should be our default setting.I’m going to make more use of this as I’ve decided it’s a good thing – helping students develop their other skills.

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