Read Aloud Manual


Read Aloud is a plugin for Moodle that measures a students reading ability by giving them a WPM (words per minute) score based on their reading of a passage. It was originally Flash based which prevented it working on modern browsers, smartphones and tablets. The new version is HTML5 based and it should work on most devices and browsers(but not IE). 

The traditional paper based version of this activity required the teacher to work with each student individually, timing and marking the score sheet in real time. 

Read Aloud provides a way for students to record their reading using a PC or tablet. So students can complete the activity simultaneously, saving classroom time. Or they can complete the activity outside class, or remotely. Later the teacher assesses the student’s reading quickly and efficiently using a custom interface. 

The new version introduces AI grading which automatically matches the student’s reading against the passage and gives an evaluation and marks up the passage for quick review by the teacher.

The Intro Video

If you did not already do so, please watch the introduction video to see an overview of how Read Aloud works.

Minimum Requirements

  • Moodle 3.2

  • Site running HTTPS

  • Internet access

  • Browser which support HTML5 audio recording(Chrome is best)

Students: How to use Poodll Read Aloud


When students open the Read Aloud activity they are presented with a mic test recorder and some instructions, as in the screenshot. The instructions can be configured by the teacher. 


The student should press the “Test Microphone” button and say a few words. When the recorder detects speech it will switch to “Start Activity” mode.

When the student presses “Start Activity” the passage to read will appear and they should begin speaking. 

After the time limit (by default 1 minute) is reached the recorded audio will be uploaded and the student’s attempt submitted for review.

Post - Recording

After the student has recorded and their attempt has been evaluated (human or machine) they will see their scores and the passage. Optionally they will see their mistakes marked up on the passage …

Also optionally the student can be given more than one attempt, and if they have remaining attempts a “Try again” button will appear beneath the passage.

Teacher: How to use Read Aloud

The student’s reading can be human evaluated and/or it can be machine evaluated. Read aloud also has error mitigation features designed to correct/reduce the incidence of “false negatives.” False negatives are words the student said correctly, but which machine evaluation marks as incorrect.

Read Aloud has a number of settings and tabs. Initially these may be confusing. Some of the settings relate to which evaluation (human or machine) should be used for pushing grades to the gradebook. Other settings relate to error mitigation.


Poodll API User
(admin) username

ReadAloud uses the Cloud Poodll API. Your Moodle site needs to be registered.
You can get a key from justin or

Poodll API Secret

API secret from members area on 


The text for student to read

Enter the text here for the student to read. It should not contain any html formatting (size, color etc) or images.

Time Limit

Mins : Secs of reading time

Usually the student has 1 minute to read and the passage is longer than any student can finish.

Can exit early


If set to true a Stop button will show beneath the recorder, allowing the reader to finish earlier than the time limit.

Enable AI

True/ False

Use AI to create a transcript of student reading and automate the student evaluation. It is possible to create automated evaluations, but only push the final human evaluation to the gradebook if that is preferable. 

Target WPM

The default target WPM. 

A students grade is calculated for the gradebook using this value as the maximum score. If their WPM score is equal to, or greater than the target WPM, they will score 100%.

Error estimation

  • never estimate errors

  • auto estimate errors(def.)

  • fixed error estimate.

* Upcoming Feature *

An estimate of the number of machine transcription errors per attempt is used to create adjusted scores that compensate for errors in machine transcription

AWS Region

  • US East

  • Tokyo, Japan

  • Sydney, Australia

  • Dublin, Ireland

Which AWS region to use to store and process recordings. NB Tokyo, Japan does NOT support machine evaluation.

Days to keep file


The number of days to keep the students recording on AWS


Sets of alternative words that can be marked correct. E.g

Often machine transcription will make the same mis-transcriptions. By reviewing the “errors” it finds we can spot these and correct them here. The passage word is the first word in the set, and the alternatives follow, separated by the pipe(|) character. Each alternatives’ set should be on a new line.

Human/Machine Grading

  • Never use machine evaluation.

  • Use machine or human evaluation

Read Aloud will submit the machine evaluation to the gradebook by default. When a human evaluation of an attempt is made, that will be submitted to the gradebnook replacing the machine grade. If "Never use machine evaluation" is selected, the machine evaluation will never be sent to the gradebook. 

Post Attempt.
Evaluation display

  • Passage only

  • Passage and scores only

  • Passage scores and errors

What to show students on the review page, after they have attempted and received a machine or human evaluation. 

Post Attempt

Link to next activity

(optional) a link to an activity the student should proceed to after this.

This allows a teacher to follow up a Read Aloud activity with a related task, such as a comprehension quiz.

What those tabs mean

The teacher sees an interface that looks like this. 


The view tab is basically what the student sees. The teacher can attempt/reattempt/see their own results here.


The grading tab lists each user’s most recent attempt, and their most recent evaluation. The graded by column indicates if that grade was AI or human generated. The “regrade” link and “grade now” button take the teacher to the grading page for that attempt.


The Attempt Grading page

The attempt grading page is reached by clicking “Grade Now” or “Regrade” on the grading page. Or by tapping the “Grade this Attempt” button on the “Attempt Machine Evaluation” page. Human evaluated attempts can be added to the gradebook. However even if using machine evaluations for gradebook, human evaluations are useful. The difference between human and machine evaluations of the same passage are used to build the error estimate used in the machine evaluated adjusted scores.

The attempt grading page looks like this:

If machine evaluations are enabled the machine evaluated results will be preloaded. Otherwise no words will be marked up. Tapping a space will set the end marker to that word. Tapping a word will toggle it’s error state.

End marker

Words in error state

The buttons beneath the passage allow the teacher to toggle the grading modes.

Grading Mode

Grading mode allows the user to freely toggle word error states and set the end word marker while playing back the student’s audio.

Spot Check Mode

In Spotcheck mode, tapping an error word plays back the audio for that word and allows teacher to spot grade that word 

Transcript Mode

In Transcript mode tapping an error word shows how the AI transcribed it, and therefore why it is an error. It is useful for building alternatives for a passage.