Audio Feedback for Student Writing in Online Nursing Courses: Exploring student and instructor reactions

Kathryn Wood
Cary Moskovitz
Theresa Valiga


Because scientific writing is an essential skill for advanced practice nurses, it is an important component of graduate education. Faculty typically provide written feedback about student writing, but this may not be the most effective choice for the distance-learning environment. This exploratory pilot study’s aim was to compare spoken, recorded feedback with written feedback in three areas: which approach do students perceive as providing more useful guidance, which approach helps students feel more connected to the course, and which approach do instructors prefer? Students enrolled in an evidence-based practice graduate-level course received asynchronous audio feedback on their written assignments instead of the written feedback they received in other courses. Results from a survey completed by 30 students at completion of the course suggest a strong preference for audio feedback. This pilot study suggests that audio feedback may be preferable to written comments for distance learning courses.



This study compared and contrasted spoken, written and audio-recorded feedback in a graduate nursing course. The researchers were interested in which type of feedback students would feel best contributed to course connectivity and usefulness and also which type of feedback is viewed as most efficient by instructors. 30 students in a MSN course took the survey during Fall 2009, which was examined through content analysis. 80% felt audio feedback was more personal than written, 60% found it more motivational, and 50% felt they retained the feedback better. Those who identified themselves as visual learners preferred written comments. Results suggest that audio feedback increases presence in online courses and more personalized and nuanced comments increase graduate student perceptions that faculty care about them personally.

APA Citation

Wood, K. A., Moskovitz, C., Valiga, T. M. (2011). Audio feedback for student writing in online nursing courses: Exploring student and instructor reactions. Journal of Nursing Education, 50, 540-543. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20110616-04

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Nursing Education
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Course design, Engagement, Feedback
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined Graduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Professions
Outcome Variables of Interest Learning effectiveness
Student Sample Size 0-99
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