Audio Recordings of Lectures
as an E-Learning Resource
Jim Balfour – SBE
• Why Now?
• Why bother?
• The Downside!
• The Process
• Pull of Push?
• Student Reaction
Why now? what’s changed?
In a word – Technology
• Personal music players (e.g. iPods) allow
digital audio to played anywhere, any time
• Consumer electronics make recording audio
cheap and easy
• Free (or almost free) audio editing software
makes it quick and easy to ‘chunk-up’ a
• VLEs, LMSs, etc make audio delivery over
the web accessible to anyone with a web
Advantage to students when
• A lecture is missed
• English is not the first language
• Baffled first time through
• Annotating lecture notes after the ‘event’
• Attempting tutorial questions/revision
• Engaged in distance and/or part-time
• Suffering from some special need (e.g.
Advantages for staff
Encourages independent learning
Less ‘knocks on the door’
Big potential for distance learning delivery
Lower failure rates?
Might ‘encourage’ students to miss lectures
Record lecture (128 kbs) Move file from MP3 player
Save files from WavePad ‘Chunk-up’ audio file using
files as 24 kbs MP3s WavePad
Upload 24 kbs MP3 files to
VLE Click boxes for
Pull or Push?
Pull relies on students downloading (or
streaming) the audio files
Push (or Podcasting) requires Podcasting
software on the student’s computer that will
automatically download new content from a
Results of Questionnaire Survey
2 out of 3 students responded
The resource was not universally used (55%)
Many who did not use the resource thought it
would have helped them to learn (40%)
The audio files were found to be Useful (3) on a
scale Not Useful at All (1) to Extremely Useful
No measurable difference in exam performance
between listeners and non-listeners
The ‘freshness’ of the audio files is regarded as
Making audio recording of lectures available
to students is now easy, quick and
The contribution to student learning made
by the files justifies the effort of producing
them, i.e. they have a high Value Added
Total Learning Enhancement
Value Added Ratio = Cost of Production and Delivery
Podcast Your Lectures
Jim Balfour – SBE
MP3 Player Software
Saving as 24 kbs MP3
Upload to VLE