I have been making use of myBrainShark over the last three years and it has been a really successful tool to work with. Students can produce their own PowerPoint slides, load them up onto myBrainShark and then add their voice to their slides. myBrainShark then packs the PowerPoint presentation with the audio and creates a link to a file that can easily be shared with the teacher.
So students can create PowerPoints on a given topic, record and re-record their voice until they are happy with their recording, and then share their work at the click of a button. Students and teachers can listen to the recordings and add notes/comments as feedback.
I have used this tool with great success. I recently got students to create PowerPoint presentations of six to eight slides where they provided personal information about their families, friends, interests and hobbies.
They then added their voice to the PowerPoint presentations and shared them over the internet. I played back their recordings, took notes and provided them with feedback on the work.
In class I played back some of the best examples and asked the students why they thought I had selected them. myBrainShark is particularly useful because there is no need to share big files and it is an online tool.
Once the students have uploaded their presentations and added their voice, they simply share the link. The teacher can click on the link and listen to the recordings directly from the myBrainShark server. This tool can also make an excellent contribution to e-Portfolios.
This tool is especially good for English for Academic Purposes students and those doing Business English. Many of these students will be expected to give PowerPoint presentations during their course and this is a great way of getting them to practise.
Students are not limited to PowerPoint. They can load up PDF documents, Word files, pictures and even video, and then add their own voice narration. Students can also share their recordings with other students and in this way get peer feedback.
Previously, it might have been very difficult for students to prepare for a PowerPoint presentation without actually doing the presentation in front of the teacher/peers and getting feedback. Now students can create them using myBrainShark and then share them quickly over the internet.
Feedback is easy and can even involve the students’ peers in the process as well as the teacher. Of course, the students can play back their own recordings as many times as they like, and re-record until they are happy with the audio that goes with each slide.
This allows for self-reflection and self-evaluation. The teacher could even provide guidelines to the students so that once they have made their PowerPoint presentations and added their voice, they could review and evaluate their own work.
Indeed e-portfolios can even include students’ own evaluations of their work or peer evaluation as part of the portfolio itself. This can be in the form of a checklist or questions for the students to use when reviewing what they have recorded (Cummins and Davesne, 2009).
A practice-based exploration of technology enhanced assessment