using audio to enhance the eLearning experience

category: multi-media

Audio – it’s a concept often taken for granted and not always utilised to the best of its ability.

Do you ever feel like you understand something better when someone explains a concept to you, even though you’ve already read about it?

It’s so important not to underestimate the importance of using audio in eLearning and how it can open the door to understanding in a way that sometimes text just can’t.

From building a connection with the listener through tone, capturing their attention and keeping them interested until the end, it’s about so much more than just reading words off a page.

And it’s thanks to the growing use of technology within learning that the way we embrace information is evolving, utilising things like audio to keep us more engaged than ever before.

So, while sound can be used as an aid to help people with things like visual impairments, it can also be used to tell a story, create suspense or give depth for that more memorable experience.

This is why, when you’re building your eLearning course, it’s hugely beneficial to think about how audio and text can work together, creating a more engaging educational environment online.

However, there are limits to using audio – and you need to make sure you’re using your it right.

Below, we’ve listed some right and wrong ways to use it, to ensure you’re giving the best experience every time.

the right time to use audio

To add more information – sometimes explaining a complex concept by text can convolute the message, so explaining it in clear layman’s terms through audio can really put things straight for the learner, while engaging them at the same time.

To tell a story – using sound to tell a story helps to create a picture in your listener’s mind. Thing about the way you tell it; use tone to add suspense, or perhaps add some special background effects to help them picture exactly what you’re talking about.

To give feedback – giving positive feedback through sound when someone answers a question right can be a great motivational tool psychologically, connecting you to your learner (but this doesn’t work both ways – keep negative feedback simple and via text!)

things to avoid

Poor sound quality – there is almost no point in including audio within your module if the sound quality is poor. It will not only devalue the hard work that has gone into putting the course together but will also distract your student from the task at hand (or even blight their motivation to continue listening). If you can’t capture great quality sound yourself, try reaching out to a professional who can help.

Giving instructions – using sound to explain a set of instructions could be complicated for the listener, creating a situation where they are forced to re-listen to the audio again and again in a bid to understand exactly what to do. For instructions, always present them in text first.

Here at thirst.io, we are thrilled to have introduced an audio component to our authoring tool, so you can make your students’ learning experience better than ever before.

To find out more or discuss our authoring tool packages, click here.