Using audio to enhance study materials
Audio can be used in versatile and imaginative ways in a course. One of the main features of audio is that concepts that are sound related, such as those related to music or language, can be authentically presented to students.
As audio presents the spoken word, it enables you to talk directly to your online or distance students, even if it is only one way communication. It is a means by which you can personalise your instructional materials and highlight aspects of course materials that are particularly important and that are sometimes overlooked by students. Audio can also be used to supplement other instructional materials such as text, photographs, or diagrams.
You can use a range of program styles such as:
Advantages of using audio
Audio has the following advantages:
- provides a human touch - enables you to introduce yourself, welcome the students to the course;
- is relatively quick to produce and provides economical access to study enhancement for students;
- a large quantity of additional support information can be included in audio segments, such as a more detailed explanation of assignment requirements. Audio enables you to direct emphasis to important points - what are the major problems students have faced in the past?
- students have control over the pace of listening to lecture style or discussion material, and if online, audio can be browsed or indexed if linked through a COOL Tool;
- can be used as an advanced organiser and/or summary;
- can provide the instructions or a description that guide a student through pictures and diagrams that form the iconic or graphic version of the verbal description;
- offer a vicarious experience of a discussion and can present a variety of expert opinion;
- the sound of a musical piece or the pronunciation of a foreign language can be best understood with an audio medium;
- hearing terminology helps with pronunciation and thus assists understanding when following written material;
- dramatisation, debate or open-ended comment can be used to trigger discussion or motivate involvement in the topic by your students; and
- adds variety to the methods of presentation. For students who have difficulty with reading it provides an auditory alternative to relying on reading ability alone.