Using audio in teaching and learning
The use of audio is well established in education and has been used for decades. From the humble audio cassettes of the 1970s, to accompanying nearly all video recordings, audio has a long history as a teaching and learning aid. Audio as a format has great breadth and depth which means there is great potential for its use in education.
The majority of uses for digital audio, to date, have been replicating traditional activities (e.g. recordings of lectures), yet this digital medium has the potential to offer much more. As use of digital learning technologies continues to grow around infrastructure (e.g. the virtual learning environment) and as teaching and learning pedagogy evolves within 'uniquely' digital contexts, we have begun to see new methods for using digital audio recordings within teaching and learning.
Some examples of using audio in education
Audio is a flexible medium which means that there are many applications within an educational context. The examples of audio uses below show that audio can be used either directly for teaching, e.g. an activity is formed around an audio resource, or as incidental activity where audio plays a minor role:
· Providing student feedback using a voice recording that is sent to the learner either to supplement written feedback or as a replacement.
· Student generated recordings which may be used as part of a learner activity or to record evidence.
· Interviews with subject matter experts which can be listened to and used as primary sources of information or smaller and incidental uses.
· Public lectures are enjoyed live and face to face. The recordings can be repurposed for teaching material and used for different contexts and subjects.
· Live online discussions can be conducted via audio tools and platforms between two or more people and this facility is frequently used for distance learning.
· Audio source materials from the past and present which can be used as part of a teaching activity. Oral history materials for example may be used by students to get a rich description of a past event.
Pedagogical uses for audio
· To support learning through discussion – which are recorded for evidence
· To support assessment through media enhanced feedback
· Audio submitted student evidence - e.g. proof of collaboration
· To summarize previous teaching
· To enable students through repetition and practice to master certain skills or techniques
· To make recordings of naturally occurring events, e.g. political speeches
· To represent concepts and ideas
· To update the course when the knowledge base changes
· To facilitate discussion for distance learners, collaborative learning
· For language teaching - helping to develop listening and speaking skills