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Tagging and linking lecture audio recordings: goals and practice

Title: Tagging and linking lecture audio recordings: goals and practice
Date/time: 13 June 2013   Session: 7.5.4, 15:00pm - 15:20pm
Occasion: Enhancement and innovation in Higher Education conference 11-13 June 2013.
Place: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow, G3 8QT (north bank of the Clyde, opposite the BBC)
How to get there: Location page and map

Norman Gray,   Nicolas Labrosse,   Sarah Honeychurch,   Steve Draper,   Michael Given,   & Niall Barr,     University of Glasgow.

Slides: PDF
Handout: PDF file
Related material:


Making audio recordings of lectures is inexpensive (in money and time), and technically straightforward. Together, these mean that it is easy for lecturing staff to create this additional resource without much in the way of support, which in turn makes it easy to do routinely and robustly, with little intellectual or technical buy-in. It is also reasonably easy to distribute the audio to students, and people have in the past done so using VLEs or services such as Apple's iTunes.

It is hard to escape the feeling, however, that while it is easy to make recordings, they are hard to exploit fully: there is more value in lecture recordings than is readily accessible. Students can listen to a lecture they missed, or re-listen to a lecture at revision time, but their interaction is limited by the affordances of the replaying technology. Listening to lecture audio is generally solitary, linear, and disjoint from other available media.

In this paper, we describe a tool we are developing at the University of Glasgow, which enriches students' interactions with lecture audio. The 'audiotag' tool:

There is a video demo of a recent (but not completely up-to-date) version of audiotag at

During session 2012-13, the audiotag team have funding from Glasgow University (i) to formally evaluate the audiotag service in the context of lecture courses across the university, (ii) to evolve it towards greater usability, (iii) to develop teaching techniques to help students exploit the service possibilities, and (iv) to work with a student developer revisiting the interface and imaginatively exploiting the available service ecology, with cross-links to other media. In this paper we will report on progress with these developments, and discuss the longer-term possibilities.

In order to book online or obtain further information about the conference, please visit Enhancement and innovation in Higher Education.

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