In this age of decreasing state funding, audio files can be an effective, economical solution to the ever-increasing costs colleges and universities face. Audio files enhance an institution’s online class, and raise the bar in the college’s traditional class.
Have you ever been midway through your online course week and thought to yourself that your participation questions are not generating the discussion you had hoped for? Have you ever observed that in some online course sections, students participate at a different rate than other course sections? There have been many occasions when I have had two courses taught simultaneously that generated two completely different levels of discussion.
A significant investment of time and effort goes into developing most online courses. To get a better return on investment, many online courses are delivered more than once. But eventually, all online courses need to be maintained (updated). Over time, things change, including the curriculum and content. And technologies (ways that the content can be delivered and tools for interacting with it and with others in the courses) change, too, prompting additional changes to online courses.
The MP3 file, an audio recording uploaded to a computer from a digital voice recorder, can offer students feedback on assignments, overviews of upcoming weeks, humorous and informative ditties by the instructor related to the course, and important reminders. Their use can be powerful and a tremendous asset in forging more student ownership of class material, stronger student-instructor rapport, and greater student involvement in and excitement for the class.