Why use audio?
Learning styles vary from person to person. Some people learn and retain information mainly through sight, some through activity, and still others through hearing. A good online course will incorporate elements of all three learning styles.
Audio is a great way to reach out to your students. Recording a short audio clip of yourself talking provides for personalization, immediacy and allows for the student to make a connection to you. You want them to know you are a real person and that the course isn't taught by a computer. It is also valuable so that students can hear the inflection in your voice and get a better sense of what ideas, concepts, or topics you are stressing.
Some subjects lend themselves to audio, while others lend themselves to visual mediums.
What to consider
Adding Files: Files can be added to the LearningStudio (college) shell either by selecting "Add a Link" then linking to the file from the visual editor or by embedding a player into the course. If you add a link, the students will select the link, then download the file and play it on their computer using their preferred player. If you embed a player in the course, then the students will need the software, such as flash, to play the file. While this is a "slicker" interface, a link should be provided to the students to download the appropriate software.
Recording files: While links to audio may readily be added to courses in the LearningStudio (eCollege) platform, you will be using third-party tools to develop your audio files. Help in the use of these third-party audio tools is provided by the companies producing the tools and not by the Pearson Help Desk.
Equipment: Most computers today come equipped with all the necessary equipment to create sound files. If your computer does not have this equipment, you can purchase a multimedia sound kit, such as the Sound Blaster Card, from many of your local stores. You need:
The first step in making a recording is generally to plug a microphone into the sound input jack on your sound card; or, if using a USB-connected microphone, a USB port on your computer With your microphone, you can record your voice, or use it to capture your own sound effects.
Some tools have free demonstration copies or are offered free of charge--see the sites listed below. Some tools are updated frequently requiring downloads to ensure the most recent version is in use. TCU eLearning and Pearson do not endorse or provide technical support for these products.
Why Audio and not Video?
With the ubiquity of webcams in our laptops and the ease of recording video now, video is often the easier choice. However, you need to consider that video requires more resources on the network. Some students, even in 2012 and beyond, still have dial-up. Audio files are easier to download on any connection, and you can record your audio without worrying about what you are wearing or if you fixed your hair. Audio files can simply be linked as a file within your course, or, if you are more daring, you can use our embed instructions to place a player within your course to play the audio directly in the content item.
On Campus Services for Audio Recording
The Koehler Center has USB mics available for faculty to check out. They are very simple and easy to use.
Center for Instructional Services
Studio production, portable field production, post-production editing, media duplication, and distribution services are available. For assistance in recording & editing audio, please contact the Center for Instructional Services.
Embeding into Pearson LearningStudio (eCollege)
RSS & Podcasting