Enhancing written feedback using audio or video

"An Education and Training Foundation funded OTLA Digital project"

What and why?

Hattie and Timperley (2007) go as far as saying that good quality feedback is the single most powerful influence on student achievement. Barnet and Southgate and North Hertfordshire Colleges are working together to test that theory and improve their GCSE maths success rates by making a small change that could make a BIG difference!

Our project will focus on supplementing written feedback with audio or video (screencasts) feedback, which may have a greater impact on learners’ understanding. We think it will be more personalised to the learners’ needs and more contextualised; easier to share with learners and more accessible to learners even when outside of the classroom.


Barnet and Southgate and North Hertfordshire are working closely together to each deliver Freestyle Feedback in their colleges. Franca Marchese from Barnet and Southgate College and Rebecca Rutherford from North Hertfordshire College are the project leads.

The learning technologists at Barnet and Southgate and ILT champion at North Herts are working with student mentors and Maths teaching staff to deliver audio / visual feedback to maths GCSE students.


Barnet and Southgate College have been working with at least 3 teachers and 3 learners. whilst North Hertfordshire College has been working with 3 teachers and 2 learners. The Learning Technologist have begun to design and try out audio and video (screencast) tools for Freestyle Feedback’s action learning project. Student mentors are being recruited at each college and will work with college staff to support teachers who are piloting Freestyle Feedback.

Throughout the months of May and June teachers involved in the project will be trialing methods of feedback to evaluate their functionalities and ease of use. This will help to ensure that teachers are fully familiar with the chosen method, prior to the full roll out of the project with the September 2018 learner cohort.

The project leads have been working closely face-to-face, but mainly through Skype meetings and use of Office 365 to share resources and check progress. A project plan has been devised and meetings have been scheduled to ensure that each stage of the project activity is agreed by both partners and benefits from their joint expertise and input. In June, teachers, student mentors and projects leads, will meet to discuss progress and share best practice. This will also be an opportunity to for teachers to decide whether to continue with the Freestyle Feedback method they have been using or consider an alternative option.


Improving students’ GCSE maths success rates proves to be a perennial, knotty problem for many FE Colleges and especially in respect of those young people who are retaking their exams. Freestyle Feedback is predicated on the idea of focussing on one small area of the learner journey; feedback to students from their teacher, and to improve it with the support of technology. In this way, Freestyle Feedback aims to enrich students’ learning experience and their acquisition and consolidation of learning. There is also the added bonus of developing teachers' understanding of using screencasting or creating audio files to share through various online methods.

For the student mentors, the positive outcomes will be reflected in their CVs and their improved employability through having gained hands-on experience.

Finally, it is hoped that a positive small change to the learner journey made through Freestyle Feedback, will be a catalyst for other teaching areas to experiment with digital methods of giving feedback.