Category Archives: audio

100 ways to use a VLE – #74 Embedding audio

Most people I know are aware that you can embed video into webpages from sites such as MoLeTV or YouTube.

It should be noted that many sites that host audio files, also allow these to be embedded into webpages. Of course that means you can usually embed them into the VLE.

A service such as Audioboo allow you to embed audio into a web page so will work on the VLE.

Having recorded your “boo” you can copy the embed code (or copy the embed code of another “boo” that you have found).

This can then be “pasted” into the VLE into a discussion forum, into a webpage or as a label into a topic.

Listen!

The advantage to the learner is that they can just click play without having to worry about clicking a link, opening a new window, click another link to play the audio.

So you’ve embedded the audio, what next?

It’s not just about the audio, you can’t just place the audio on the VLE and expect it to do everything. As with using audio in the classroom, you need to consider the audio in the context of the learning activity.

You may example ask your learners to listen to the audio and comment on the recording in a VLE discussion forum. Another example would be to use an audio recording to reinforce a resource on the VLE.

100 ways to use a VLE – #7 Assignment Submission

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We often ask learners to submit assignments, often with a top sheet and to get it signed in. All this takes time and staff.

So why don’t we use the tools that we have in the VLE?

Most VLEs like Moodle, have the option of allowing learners to submit assignment electronically. The student uploads their assignment (as an electronic file). The VLE records the time and date of submission and more often then not, gives the student a receipt of their submission.

The tutor can very easily see which students have submitted and which haven’t. Some VLE assignment submission systems can be configured to not accept late submissions, but even if you do, you will be able to see which were late and which were on time.

Using tools such as Turnitin, it is possible to add automatic plagarisim detection to the submission process, flagging up assignments which may or may not need to be checked.

So why don’t we do it more often?

Well there are lots of reasons and some of them are quite valid.

If you submit electronically, then you need to mark them electronically, and some staff have reservations about marking on a screen. Either they don’t like looking at a screen for a long time or they don’t have easy access to a computer. Also though tools such as Word do allow for commenting and annotation, they are not the most intuitive of tools to use. As a result they will often print the assignments out, this means instead of twenty learners printing out one document each, the lecturer will be printing twenty out, which takes time, the time which was supposed to be saved by the learners submitting their documents electronically.

The learner will need access to the VLE to submit their work. If they don’t have access from home, will they be able to do so from college. It makes sense to think about the deadline for assignments as a result.

What about when the assignment submission process fails? The VLE doesn’t work or falls over. Well common sense approach works here, in the same way if the member of staff who collects physical assignments was ill, you just work around the problem and provide the students with a different way of submitting work, or change the deadline.

What about if learners don’t want to submit electronically? If as a institution you are embracing the concept of personalisation, then electronic submission may be just one way in which students can submit work, you may want to offer them a choice.

One solution which staff may want to think about is changing the way they mark electronic documents, stop thinking of them as electronic paper documents that you “write” on, but as digital files and as a result use digital technologies to mark them. What about using audio or video to provide feedback? Record your thoughts and feedback as you mark the document; then the student will be able to listen to your feedback as a virtual you and they go through the assignment. The JISC Sounds Good project did some interesting work on this. One of the tutors at Gloucestershire College has also undertaken a trial with recording feedback, and has had very positive feedback from the learners, who have taken more notice of the audio feedback and found it more useful.

Of course some assignments just don’t fit electronic submission, a poster for example. However just because one format of assignment doesn’t fit, doesn’t mean we should never use electronic submission. Electronic submission actually makes it possible for a wider range of assessments to be submitted than just written assignments. Learners can submit videos, audio files, muti-media presentations. With tools such as Google Docs, wikis, Prezi, Slideshare and other online presentation sites it is now much easier for learners to demonstrate their understanding.

Submitting assignments through the VLE is one way in which you can increase use of the VLE and make it easier for learners to get a better understanding of how it works and more choice on what and how they submit their work.

Photo source.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #024: Sounds good to me

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Audio recording, sound recording, podcasting, content and then some.

Audio MP3

This is the twenty-fourth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Sounds good to me.

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Sounds good to me

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

James is joined by Mell Turford and David Sugden.

Shownotes

  • To follow…

Edirol R-09HR

I have been using an Edirol R-09 for a few weeks now and have ordered some for our MoLeNET project (the Glossy project).

Eidrol have now released a new version the R-09HR.

From Engadget:

Edirol released its high-end R-09 portable recorder back in 2006, and now they’re taking things up a notch with the R-09HR, which can handle 96KHz recordings (up from 48KHz) and supports SDHC up to 8GB instead of the 4GB max of the old model. The recorder also includes a monitor speaker, remote control and playback speed control — a big win for fans of Alvin and the Chipmunks or for those who need to transcribe interviews, two camps which we conveniently find ourselves in.

It will cost £249.

Connecting your PSP to a Projector or a TV or similar…

One of the new features of the 2000 series of the PSP is that you can now purchase an AV cable which allows you to watch video or view photographs through your TV (or through a projector if it has composite video inputs).

I recently got hold of a cable, it is available through Amazon, but initially I tried at my local Sony centre (well the PSP is a Sony product and it’s an AV cable and the store has lots of big tellies) well no luck there. Nor at Dixons (well dot Curry Digital’ish aren’t they called) in the end I tried Game and found one on the bottom shelf nearly hidden away.

At £12.99 it’s not expensive, but it’s not cheap either, but it does work very well.

Connecting your PSP to a Projector or a TV or similar...

Initially I tried the cable with one of those small portable Toshiba LED projectors and though I couldn’t get any audio it worked much better than I thought it was going to.

Then into a classroom with a projector, all our rooms at Gloucestershire College which have Activboards (which is virtualy all of them) as well as a computer also have an amp and speakers allowing you to play audio very easily in the classroom, so quickly connected to the AV cable to the video input and the amp and there was video form the PSP playing through the big screen.

Also tried PowerPoint slides saved as images which worked well, and a Keynote presentation saved as a movie file complete with audio track which worked even better.

One concern I did have was that there was a warning on the packaging that the PSP could only output in NTSC format only and of course here in the UK we use PAL, so when I got home I connected it to my TV, which is an older Sony CRT model and it worked really really well.

Overall I was impressed with the cable and the quality of the output. It certainly is one option for presenting audio and visual content through a projector or a TV and therefore useful not just for teaching staff in presenting learning resources, but also for learners with accessibility issues in accessing PSP content on a small screen.