How An Audio Production Educator Shares Feedback Clearly and Quickly With Students, Remote and In-Person, Using Highnote



March 15, 2024

TAFE instructor Harry Sun uses Highnote to reduce anxiety around feedback, increase comprehension, and demonstrate growth during a project.

Since TAFE is a state-funded vocational school, classes include students from a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels. Many aren’t yet familiar with industry standards, tools, and jargon, so clear communication around process and expectations is key.

Harry Sun, an educator at TAFE, uses Highnote to:

  • Reduce students’ anxiety and confusion when receiving feedback 

  • Increase clarity and comprehension around project next steps

  • Chart students’ skill development by seamlessly comparing a project’s before and after versions with ease

  • Save time when grading + sharing project critiques

  • Instruct remote students with on-campus quality

Highnote allows Harry to give students a robust feedback experience no matter where they are located. Harry shared, “I use Highnote to easily leave notes for students about how they should edit different versions of their mixes. I currently teach a bunch of Pro Tools-based units, and it can be difficult to make changes to a mix if I tell a student, ‘Change this thing at this time,’ as it requires doing math backward. Thanks to Highnote, I can reference a specific point in a song without having to calculate exactly where they need to make the change, select that point in the track, and leave a note with feedback on that timestamp so they know exactly what I’m referencing.”

Harry can provide feedback to students via text and voice

When objectively evaluating a student’s growth and professional development, Harry added, “The versioning feature is invaluable by giving us the ability to layer multiple versions of a track and toggle back and forth to hear changes seamlessly. The UI keeps all track versions well-organized and easy to access for the creator and their collaborators. As an educator, I can see what changes have been made and if they’ve implemented feedback from me or their student peers.”

For students taking classes remotely, Highnote has been essential. It empowers those who can’t get to a campus location to participate in the full classroom experience. Harry explained, “When teaching the technological and mechanical aspects of music, it could be difficult - and much slower - to provide specific feedback without looking over the student’s shoulder at their files. Highnote eliminates that need with the revision schedule and feedback commenting tool.” 

In other words, students can attend an audio production or sound engineering class from anywhere, knowing they will still receive the valuable one-to-one feedback required to grow. 

Highnote's versioning feature allows students and educators to view and instantly compare takes to provide efficent feedback

Saving instructors time 

As government funding allowed TAFE to shift to free courses, instructors saw a huge jump in enrollment and class size, especially online. Harry isn’t just providing materials and assignments, he’s sharing feedback on each student’s track. Anything that can help streamline that workflow makes a difference. He reflected, “Highnote is a big time saver for education, specifically, because you can point to specific time stamps in the track and leave your feedback right there. The seamless version flipping is also so good compared to what we have natively on our computers.” 

Harry found that Highnote’s clean UI focuses on what matters most when working on audio projects. He added, “When teaching students Pro Tools for the first time, they sometimes start exporting things with the reverb tail that's silence to the end of the track—it’s an easy mistake to make. With Highnote’s waveform visualizer, I can easily see what's happening in their tracks visually at a glance without listening through.” 

Harry also makes the most of Highnote’s attachment feature during the home recording unit, which  requires documentation of the students’ setup and teardown process. They can easily attach photos and videos so it’s all in one place—they don’t have to email back and forth and Harry doesn’t have to trace email threads back to particular projects. The same goes for the assessments they need to provide to pass the class. Students can attach a Pro Tools screenshot as evidence that they worked on their mixes, so Harry can pass them.

Highnote focuses on file organization so you can focus on creating  

Highnote removes much of the legwork of organizing audio files and projects. While we still suggest using a consistent file nomenclature, especially when sharing your track with other industry professionals, the file management system eliminates a lot of the headaches around finding, editing, saving, and sharing files. It helps streamline collaboration

Harry shared, “Highnote is a lot better organized than most humans and file management tools. I can just organize the space and configure permissions exactly how I want with ease.” Here’s an example of how he uses Highnote Collections to organize his students’ projects by unit and course level:

Harry organizes each class into their own Highnote Space allowing students to upload and track their own progress as well as others in the class

Having everything - audio files, feedback, revisions, and assessment screenshots - in one place organized by class code is something instructors like Harry once dreamt of. Now, with Highnote, it’s a reality. 

Preparing students for the professional world 

Harry shared, “As a vocational school, our goal is to fully prepare our students to graduate and be ready to enter the workforce. I find it incredibly useful for the students to be introduced to tools like Highnote that they’ll need to work and market themselves. I think instructors should be thinking about incorporating professional tools beyond those only needed to get the work done. I think we should be looking at the full picture when teaching our students these very specified units.” 

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Join the thousands bringing calm to their creative process with Highnote

Join the thousands bringing calm to their creative process with Highnote

Join the thousands bringing calm to their creative process with Highnote