Activities: Poodll Read Aloud

Maintained by Picture of Justin HuntJustin Hunt
Poodll Read Aloud is an online testing system designed to assist teachers in evaluating their students' reading fluency as WPM(Words Correct Per Minute) scores. It features automated evaluation of students using AI and HTML5 recording via Cloud Poodll. It has no dependencies on other plugins.
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Read Aloud enables teachers to evaluate a student's reading ability by giving them WPM (words per minute) and accuracy scores based on their reading of a passage. The latest version is HTML5, which enables it to be used with modern browsers, smartphones and tablets. The traditional paper-based method of administering an oral reading assessment required the teacher to work with each student individually, timing and marking the score sheet in real time. Read Aloud provides a way to record readings using a PC or tablet, which saves class time by enabling all students to undertake the task simultaneously. It is also possible to complete the activity outside class, or even remotely. Teachers assess student reading quickly and efficiently using a custom interface. 

The latest version of Read Aloud features AI grading, which automatically matches a transcript of the student’s reading against the original passage and assigns a WPM and accuracy score. After completing the task, both the recording and the reading passage (marked with any errors) can be reviewed by the student. Teachers are able to override errors with manual grading.

Use Cases

Native Speakers

In first language contexts, Read Aloud is most often used for reading practice, assessment, and progress monitoring. Many educational authorities require students to reach a certain level of reading proficiency before advancing to the next grade. Read Aloud makes it easy for teachers to collect measures of oral reading ability that can be shared with parents, administrators, and other stakeholders.

Language Learners

Read Aloud is also used extensively in language learning. Curricula that include extensive reading or speed reading programs use Read Aloud to measure changes in reading speed and accuracy via pre- and post-testing. Mismatches between the transcription of a student's reading and the original passage provides language learners with valuable feedback on pronunciation. Students are able to reattempt the task multiple times with the purpose of improving their pronunciation of certain words.

How it works

Initially the student tests their microphone. Once sound has been detected the "Start Activity" button is displayed.

Once the user has successfully tested their mic and started the activity the reading passage will appear and the timer will begin automatically.

The default recording time is 1 minute and the student does not usually have the option to finish early. In the normal administration of a WPM reading fluency test, the passage should be too long to be completed in 1 minute. But the time is configurable, and there is an option to allow the student to finish early should it suit the teacher's purpose.

When grading manually the teacher uses a simple interface that allows them to mark words as incorrect while they listen to the student's recording. They can mark the students end of speaking by marking the space after the final word spoken. Subsequent words will appear struck out. WPM and accuracy scores are calculated automatically based on the final word position, and number of errors. 

Poodll Read Aloud can also evaluate automatically. The teacher will see the AI evaluation pre-loaded. if they wish to grade further they can simply spot check the errors the AI has spotted.

The students review page is very similar to the grading page, optionally showing the passage, scores and highlighted errors.

Getting Started

Read Aloud requires a Poodll API username and secret. These are available with a free trial or paid subscription to Poodll. To get your API username and secret:

  1. Visit the Read Aloud page at
  2. Take a "30 day Free Trial"
  3. Register your Moodle site URL on your member page
  4. Pick up your Cloud Poodll API user and secret

Then you can install Poodll Read Aloud as usual from the Moodle plugins directory. After installation you will be asked for your API user and secret. Please see the Poodll Read Aloud support documentation for more information on installing and using Read Aloud.

About Poodll

Poodll has been making plugins for Moodle since 2011. Our software has helped teachers build and deliver language courses in thousands of Moodle websites worldwide. Search for "Poodll" in the Moodle Plugins directory to see a list containing more than 25 of our plugins. Poodll is based in Nagasaki, Japan.


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Picture of Justin Hunt
Justin Hunt (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of Elton LaClare
    Mon, Apr 25, 2016, 6:02 AM
    Hello everyone,
    Sorry to be late to the party. I'm very happy to see that people are so interested in ReadAloud. I want to thank Justin who has taken on a lot of extra work by making this plugin available to the community. Although I am not the programming genius behind this plugin, I am very interested in hearing ideas about how ReadAloud might be improved for users and teachers. Concerning Benjamin's ideas, Justin did some work with the text-to-speech api that allowed learners to access proper pronunciation of the words in the text. Changes to the api meant that this feature was not available on all versions. Perhaps Justin can comment on the current state of this feature. I think providing a model reading of the entire passage is also a good idea. I will take some time to figure out the best way to encorporate this functionality into the existing plugin.
  • Picture of camille Grasset
    Mon, Apr 25, 2016, 2:16 PM
    Hello everyone,
    We are using read aloud in primary school to train the fluency in french as a foreign language. We provide a model reading of the entire passage using the description area by recording ourselves (thanks to PoodLL in atto), and for the practice we sometimes use a PoodLL widget (the audio recorder you can see in the screenshot).
    As you can see in the screenshot, our "problem" mainly comes from the presentation of activities in moodle: the Read Aloud activity is not easy to spot for young users (as of any other moodle activity) therefore I link most of the activities to a picture (the red button bellow).
    I cannot thank Justin enough for his plugins, and I guess it's a bit late for a change, however I suppose that a more visible logo-design for the RA activity could be helpfull.
    PS: TTS is not available on our moodle 2.9.5
    PS2: Once open, the activity is modifying elements of my theme (mostly from the header menu)
    I will copy this post to the forum with screenshots,
  • Picture of Brian lIU
    Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 2:08 PM
    Hi, I just got it installed but get following error after reading the message. Any idea how to fix it? Many thanks.
    An error occured while posting your file to the server. Your submission has NOT been received. Please refresh the page and try again.
  • Picture of Brian lIU
    Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 2:09 PM
    Hi, anybody knows how to fix following error?
    An error occured while posting your file to the server. Your submission has NOT been received. Please refresh the page and try again.
  • Picture of Islam Mohamed
    Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 3:07 PM
    Hi, It's a great plugin. I wonder if there is a way to add an mp3 player instead of the text to use it for speaking practice where students can listen then record what they heard. And the reading text is hidden so teachers can correct students spoken language. Any ideas even on how to embed an mp3 file in the text area.
  • Picture of Elton LaClare
    Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 8:00 AM

    I tested Mohamed's suggestion earlier today. I thought it might be possible to add an audio player by changing to HTML format in the drop-down menu, but that wasn't the case. I think there are two possible options here: one is to follow Camille's suggestion above and add a recording to the description area; the other is to use a plug-in designed to encourage students to follow a pronunciation model. One such plug-in that comes to mind is Voice Shadow. I'm not sure that it's available in the Moodle plugins database, but it can be downloaded from Github. Voice Shadow also has a mobile app that extends the plug-in for use with smartphones.
  • Picture of Islam Mohamed
    Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 4:06 PM

    I'd like to use the tool for speaking. How can I change Begin Reading to Record?
  • Picture of Islam Mohamed
    Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 4:16 PM
    Hi Elton,
    Thanks a lot for your reply,

    I managed to compile a code to hide the audio player. here it is

    It shows the text and a button named "click to listen" and once clicked the button and the text disappears and the audio starts
    But if the student reloaded the page the button appears again. Any suggestions?
    (I have no skills in coding, I just tried and tried till it worked)
  • Picture of Nelson Florez
    Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 7:45 AM
    Congrats on this awesome plugin. It works perfectly.
  • Picture of Francisco Gómez
    Sat, May 20, 2017, 8:00 PM
    Will it work in Moodle 3.3?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 1:46 AM
    This plugin hits it out of the park! Thanks Justin for bringing this back and building in the machine grading by leveraging the Poodll platform. Nice work!
  • Picture of Saaid Agherdien
    Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 9:01 PM
    Hi, i've installed the plugin on moodle 3.1, added the activity. The activity allows me to test the mic, then the "start activity" button appears. I click on start activity, but the reading passage fails to appear. Please help
  • Picture of Islam Mohamed
    Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 10:51 AM
    Hi, i've installed the plugin on moodle 3.6, added the activity.
    The activity allows me to test the mic, then the "start activity" button appears. I click on start activity, but the reading passage fails to appear. Please help
  • Picture of Justin Hunt
    Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 11:01 AM
    Hi Islam. I think that an error is occurring but that its not showing that to you. its most likely that your API username and secret were not entered correctly, or that you have not registered the URL of your Moodle site in your Poodll account. The URL must start with http or https. Can you check those points?
    The setup basics for ReadAloud and other Cloud Poodll plugins are the same. You can see more details here.
  • Picture of Dr Dubai
    Sat, Sep 21, 2019, 4:07 PM
    Congrats on this awesome plugin. It works perfectly.
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