Conversations Workaround

Posted by joyclear on April 21, 2015

Conversations poses a unique problem because the instructor’s questions are just as garbled in playback mode as the responses. This means students can’t understand the initial question in order to be able to respond to it. The workaround we’ve thought of is cumbersome, but will work in a pinch. If anyone out there has a better solution, we’d love to hear it!

1. Post your Conversation questions to YouTube in one of two ways:

  • Download the Conversation to your computer (for this, you would need to select one student’s already existing responses to post as well, or go in and record responses yourself posing as a student); or
  • Create a new video using whatever app you like on your computer or mobile device and post to YouTube from there.

2. Create a Mashup and embed the YouTube video, then create individual Audio Dropboxes to collect responses to each individual question in the video.

3. Once students have recorded their answers, you can download them from your Audio Dropbox admin page and listen to them from your computer.

For RIA users who are adventurous, you could also become one of our beta testers for the new Audio Dropbox version in HTML5, which doesn’t use Flash and therefore doesn’t have this playback problem. This doesn’t solve the issue with Conversations, but it would eliminate the need for step 3 above because you would be able to play responses back without downloading.

To begin using Audio Dropbox in HTML5, go to and log in using your current CLEAR account email and password. You’ll be able to create new Audio Dropboxes just as in the old site, and embed them in Mashups, course management systems, and so on.


Another user offers the following workaround, which may be helpful for teachers already using the iLrn platform from Cengage/Heinle:

We created individual videos using Photo Booth (but any other program could work) for each question we wanted to ask. We uploaded them to Kaltura, which is a media storage space for MSU, but YouTube would have worked also. From there we got the embed code to put into the iLrn platform (Cengage/Heinle’s online workbook platform), where we created one activity with nine individual questions. While you can have the prompt as a video prompt in iLrn, students can only do audio responses. Just like in Conversations, you have the option of just listening to the students’ answers and not replay the teacher’s prompts.