#dl09-311 Tips and Tricks for Creating Audio for E-Learning session notes

Jaime Foran and Bill Vitale
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Agenda
  • Why use Audio in Your E-Learning courses?
  • Audio Tips and Tricks
  • Using Avatars to Enhance Your E-Learning Courses
Why Use Audio?
  • Improves course quality
  • Improves course flow
  • Provides another way for learners to glean information
  • Provides a channel for learners to store information
Tip 1 – Choose your subject
  • Record in-house
  • Hire a professional narrator
  • Use text to speech software like NaturalSoft
Tip 2 – Develop your plan/script
  • Make sure your script is conversational
  • Don't read what's on the screen
  • Don't ad-lib
  • Keep it simple
Tip 3 – Choose your Microphone
  • Headset vs desktop
  • Omnidirectional vs unidirectional
  • Use a USB microphone
    • Blue Snowball/snowflake
    • Samson CO1U
    • Rockband or Guitar Hero
  • Use a pop shield/filter
  • Use a microphone stand
Tip 4 – Location, location, location
  • Maintain a consistent environment
  • Find a quiet room
  • Unplug office machines/telephones/fans
  • Hang up a Do Not Disturb sign
  • Dampen the sound
    • Create a Portabooth – you can build your own for about $20
      • Mesh cube
      • Recording studio foam (pyramid) – four pieces (sides and back, not on the bottom)
Tip 5 – Best Recording/Editing software
  • NCH WavePad (free)
  • Audacity (free)
  • Garage Band ($79)
  • Adobe Audition ($350)
  • Adobe Soundbooth ($199)
  • Sony Sound Forge ($55 and $375)
  • The Levelator
Tip 6 – How to Speak
  • Get rid of the plosives
  • Use a lower tone than normal
  • Don't speak in a monotone voice
  • Relax and don't rush your words
Tip 7 – Practice, practice, practice
  • Place your microphone in the right position
  • Record a demo
  • Listen to the audio playback with/without headphones
  • Practice your enunciation
  • Check your speed
Tip 8 – When recording…
  • Don't get distracted by animations
  • Leave a few second of silence at the start of each track
  • Record 10 seconds of silence
  • If you stumble, keep going
  • Record all your audio at once
  • Have a glass of water handy
Tip 9 – Test, test, test
  • Preview your audio in your elearning course
  • Publish to the web to check user experience
  • Think about which audio format to use
    • WAV
    • MP3
    • SWF/FLV
Tip 10 – Have fun!
  • Put a smile on your face
  • Have confidence
  • Relax
Provide a pdf version of the script.?? Have a button that "pops up" the script so it can be a take away for the learner as well as provide a way for the learner to read the script if listening to it is not an option.
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What are avatars?
  • Computerized depiction of humans or cartoons
  • Enhance learner attention
  • Increase learner retention
  • Add spice to your e-learning course
Using Avatars
  • Introduce topics
  • Reinforce skills
  • Integrated help
Technology
Bill is showing us some of the 2D avatars he has created using CrazyTalk.
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Jaime is showing us an app they created that uses an avatar that Bill created.
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Another AWESOME presentation!?? I am building my own portabooth when I get home.
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