Controlled assessment can often take up a lot of administration time, if you don’t have the correct equipment. None of us went into teacher to do admin; it’s the part of the job we accept needs doing, so anything to make that process more time efficient is a bonus! In our department we use to use Audacity, which by all accounts is a useful (free) recording tool, there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, however, if you have access to an iPad in your department, we’ve found the free App Voice Record Pro to be very efficient and easy to use, for the following reasons.
1. The sound quality is very good, if you’re using a mic on an old laptop or perhaps even iPhone, then this app (although, perhaps the quality may indeed come from the iPad itself).
2. You can convert your file as soon as it has been created to MP3, which means no more having to go through each file and covert them from wav. Again, I’m aware you can save as an MP3 in audacity, but this process seems to be neater as you can convert it before you upload you file to whichever cloud account you use (my next point) thus only saving one file.
3. The biggest selling point, you can upload the MP3 file directly to your cloud account (mine being google drive) at the touch of a button rather than dropping and dragging. You can also rename the file before it is uploaded so that you get the exact version of the file you require ready for you, when you open google drive.
4. You can edit and trim easily with to eradicate things like coughing. You could also use the software for pupils to cream faux radio shows, role plays, speeches and thus, away from controlled assessment, you can use the software so that pupils can develop their speaking and listening skills, which other pupils could easily peer assess.
5. You can directly email the track using the email setup on your iPad, again at the touch of a button rather than having to attach to an email.
These may seem like piecemeal differences between software used on a laptop, such as audacity, and Voice Record Pro, but I have certainly found the latter to be a lot more user friendly and time efficient. I also find the fact that it is on the iPad means that it is a lot more portable, rather than having to drag around a laptop, wait for it to load etc, I find grabbing the iPad and going a lot easier in all aspects of recording students and anything that means there less admin in our work is surely a good thing.