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

Jaime Foran and Bill Vitale
  • 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.
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
Bill is showing us some of the 2D avatars he has created using CrazyTalk.
Jaime is showing us an app they created that uses an avatar that Bill created.
Another AWESOME presentation!?? I am building my own portabooth when I get home.

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