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Tech Tip: How to assess conversational proficiency using Showbie


Spanish teacher Caroline Murray shows how language teachers can use Showbie to assess conversational proficiency.

Credit: Pixabay


Language teachers finally have an answer to the question of how to effectively and efficiently assess conversational proficiency in an organized, one-stop-shop way. For me, it’s Showbie.

Showbie is a free app for iOS devices that allows teachers to assign, collect and review student work electronically. The app accepts almost any type of upload and lets you hand write on images and PDFs (using digital ink). This has made it ideal for me when assessing conversations.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Upload an audio prompt, such as a voice recording or downloaded audio file. You can upload different audio files for each student, copy/paste files from one student to another, or upload one per class.
  2. Upload a PDF of the rubric.
  3. Listen to the audio files, then record your response directly into the app.
  4. Assess the student’s work in Showbie by writing directly on the rubric, typing in comments or recording feedback.

Gone are the days of clunky, time-consuming paper rubrics and web-based audios to create a complicated work-around for conversation assessment. Now the student has everything in one place. They can listen to the audio prompt and response, review the rubric, and read and listen to the teacher’s comments. Give it a try!

Caroline Murray is a Spanish teacher at Presentation High School in San Jose, Calif. She has taught at the high school and college level and is dedicated to using technology to create innovative and immersive Spanish-learning experiences. She is completing a graduate certificate in Integration of Educational Technology from Boise State University and regularly contributes to ed tech-centered professional development at her school. Follow her on Twitter.


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