LTGR Ep. #30 – “Hearing Voices in Online Courses”

Dan and Susan examine how people are using audio when teaching online, and ask listeners to share how voice figures into their own online courses.

Download MP3 File

Show Notes:

Adding Audio to Your Online Course:

Topic is revisited from more than 2 years ago. Dan and Susan look at how universal voice is when teaching online. Are people using voice and if so, how?

At the time of recording, Susan was taking a class with Norm Garrett (former guest) on podcasting and the issue of voice came up for discussion, specifically the explaining voice as described in this article [PDF] by Gardner Campbell Susan gives her two cents. Well, she explains her point.

Not to get too tied to podcasting, you can have audio without subscription and RSS and have it in many form. Live chat could be one option. Giving feedback in audio is another form. It could be adding contextual information that supports what else is happening. It could be announcements or an introduction at the beginning of a unit or a summary at the dn. Lots of possibilities where you might introduce voice in place of text.

Dan asks is Susan hears other voices … a very funny moment.

The serious point is that Dan asks if there are different tones you would want to take depending on your purpose for using voice.

Is there a pedagogical reason to use a different voice depending on where you are in the course? Susan doesn’t have an answer. She goes on to say that putting one’s voice into the course personalizes the message in a way that the written word generally doesn’t.

Susan and Dan reference research done by Jeff Sommers on audio feedback.

Jeff Sommer’s webpage about audio commentary.

Research on student preferences for audio commentary on their papers done by Dr. Sue Sipple with Jeff Sommers

Jeff’s recommendations on tools for recording audio commentary.

What does it take to add audio? You could set up a microphone, use Audacity to record and encode and email the file. Or you can use a portable player like an iRiver mp3 player, which encodes automatically when you take the file off the little machine. Warning: check with your institution to see if emailing this feedback would violate FERPA.

You could even add voice comments to documents within Microsoft Word. Susan knows people who tried that and complained of huge file sizes, but are they bigger than a lengthy mp3?

Many of the newer course management systems support audio, too.

Dan and Susan would like to hear from people using voice in their courses. They’d also like to hear from those who are not … why not?

You can respond using the “Comments” link below or talk to us in LearningTimes. Or call us at 1-800-609-9006 x8055 (US and Canada) or 678-255-2174 x8055 (outside US and Canada). Join us!

5 thoughts on “LTGR Ep. #30 – “Hearing Voices in Online Courses””

  1. Fascinating discussion and thanks for the links and tips! So far the only way I use voice in my courses is by giving links to NPR and other radio broadcast content. I would love to have audio files linked to my online courses that I will now be developing–and my vision is that students could easily burn these to a disc and listen while they commute, walk, etc… Personally (being and aural learner,) I would love to take a course with those kinds of options!

    Thanks! -Rebecca

  2. I am very interested in learning more on podcasting. This article along with Jeff’s ‘recommendations’ website is a great start. I think I will invest in a microphone now, so that I can start preparing some audio discussions for my Spring courses.
    Kathleen_New Berlin

  3. I agree about the 15 minute rule. I find I well less likely listen to a podcast if it is over 20 minutes. There are some articles which discuss this – the one I found today is: Building a Better Podcast By: Villano, Matt, T.H.E. Journal, 0192592X, 20080101, Vol. 35, Issue 1 which says 10-15 minutes (though they were talking about K-12, I think it can apply to adults as well.)

Comments are closed.