Quick Guide: Dictation

These activities, which are particularly useful for foreign-language study, enable students to practice listening and transcription skills.


  • These activities primarily focus on audio assets.
  • Each activity may include a single supplementary image or video (not both).
  • Third-party content from Spotify may not be used in these activities.


Before developing any content related to audio recordings, images, and/or videos, please see Quick Guide: Selecting and Recording Audio, Active Learning Image Guide, and/or Guidelines for Selecting YouTube and Vimeo Videos. Record these resources in the relevant audio log, image log, and/or video log, and submit the log(s) to your Active Learning project editor.

Accessibility Requirement

In consideration of meeting accessibility requirements, any instructional image used in an activity must be accompanied by alternative text (alt text). Alt text is a term used to describe text that is read by a screen reader in place of an image. When a screen reader encounters an image within an activity, it will skip over it unless there is alt text provided to read in its place. This renders the activity incomprehensible.

See Quick Guide: Writing Alt Text for further guidance.

What You Need to Submit

Audio log for all dictation activities, if applicable (separate file)
Image log or video log for all dictation activities, if applicable (separate file)
Audio file(s) in .mp3, .wav, .opus, .ogg, .oga, or m4a format

Activity title:

Student instructions:

Supplemental image or video (optional):

  • Image
    • Figure number from image log:
    • Image description/alternative text:
  • Video
    • Title:
    • Reference number from video log:
    • Video URL:

Dictation item 1:

  • Additional instructions or context (optional):
  • File name of corresponding audio file:
  • Correct answer:

Repeat dictation items as needed

Feedback (optional):


  • Max tries (limit the number of times the audio for each sentence can be listened to): if no number is specified, we will default to unlimited
  • Ignore punctuation marks (If enabled, punctuation marks will not be considered for scoring): if not specified, we will default to enabled
  • Zero mistakes mode (If enabled, only correct answers will be considered for scoring. Mistakes will not be punished): if not specified, we will default to disabled
  • Custom typo display (If enabled, typos will be displayed in a custom style distinguishing them from clear mistakes): if not specified, we will default to disabled
  • Value of typos (Determine to which extent typing errors count as a real mistake): Values to choose from = 100%, 50%, 0%: if not specified, we will default to 100%