Hints for preparing and recording audio
Before undertaking preparation or recording of audio, it is essential to:
identify how the audio will enhance the instructional content and at what stage in the instructional plan the introduction of the audio will be most effective;
plan ahead to give yourself enough time to preview existing programs and to script and produce the required material; and
consider carefully the relevance of the content of an audio piece to the learning objectives before incorporating it into the study program. This means that all existing audio material should be previewed to determine if it is useable or not.
Key points for preparation and recording
Preparation is essential. A carefully prepared script will result in a smooth running production with few if any wasted resources or effort. The finished product will also be educationally more effective as you will have given careful thought to the instructional strategy embedded in the structure of the program.
It is best to come prepared with a written script or detailed outline of the points you wish to cover. When preparing your script, it is a good idea to put different segments on separate pages and not to run sentences over pages. This eliminates the need to turn the page whilst you are speaking. This is important because your voice will sound more fluent and the microphones will pick up any noise from moving paper, which can be very distracting for the listener.
The following are key points to keep in mind when preparing to record audio:
- keep information as generic as possible;
- try to avoid mentioning study books (instead use the term "study materials")
- try to avoid mentioning specific semesters or dates;
- an audio CD can play for up to 80 minutes, it's best to split your script into several headings, so separate tracks can be made on the CD; and
- for web/online delivery it is best to keep each segment under 5 minutes. If you are unable to fit all the content within 5 minutes, try thinking of ways to split it up under several headings. This will keep the audio file at a manageable size (to aid users in avoiding overly long download time), and will aid with streaming the audio.
Each audio segment or file will need an identifiable name that you will use in any text component of the study material and in the storyboard to identify the position for the link to the audio.
Scripting for audio requires care, as visual references and body language are missing. However, it is not an onerous task, and providing your diction is clear, you can voice the script yourself.