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Desire2Learn 9.0

Best Practices for Using Audio in D2L

This document contains tips for using audio for Desire2Learn.

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Audio files can be used to provide supplemental instructional material, explain complicated charts and graphs, or provide feedback for assignments. Some instructors record an introduction to identify themselves and personalize their course. Audio can also be useful for explaining a complicated visual concept. These types of audio files are often referred to as podcasts.

Simple audio files can be recorded in Microsoft Word to provide feedback within student assignments submitted as Word documents, much like the Track Changes or Insert Comments features. The other files you might want to record (introductions, explanations, presentations) will likely require a program such as Audacity (free and easy to use!) To get started, see Downloading Audacity and Audacity Basics.

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return to topBest Practices

Plan what you intend to say
Audio files must be accompanied by a transcript. This can be an advantage: having a script prepared will make your recording sound more professional and give you the chance to practice prior to recording. Of course, you do not want to sound as if you are reading directly from a script: practicing ahead of time will help you to sound more fluid and less mechanical. It is always best to have a plan for what you will say before hitting the record button.

Provide clear audio
We have all dealt with phone messages that sound very important but are indecipherable because the person spoke too softly or too quickly. Be sure to speak clearly and slowly when recording. Enunciate—your students will appreciate the extra effort. Record in a place with minimal background noise where you will not be interrupted and use an echo-canceling microphone. Listen to your recording before posting it to Desire2Learn, making sure it is easy to understand.

Keep it short
The shorter an audio file, the better. If you are providing feedback in a Word document, you will be limited to one minute per recording, and several recordings within one document could increase the file size quite a bit. Plan accordingly and be mindful of the final file size. If you are unsure of how long your recording should be, test it out, and listen to it—make sure every word is relevant. You can always cut down your script and do a second recording.

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