When to Use Audio Resources in Teaching

Decorative: A wifi symbol wearing headphones

"Pedagogical Roles for Audio in Online Learning" (web page; doc) lists 12 teaching situations that could exploit the unique characteristics of audio resources in (online) learning:

1. "To analyse or process detailed visual materials, such as mathematical equations, paintings, graphs, statistical tables, rock samples, maps, etc., by ‘talking’ students through the material"

  • Note: "In many of the ‘videos,’ the Khan Academy is really dynamic graphics-plus-audio used in exactly this way."

2. "To enable students through repetition and practice to master certain skills or techniques (e.g. language pronunciation, analysis of musical structure, mathematical computation)"

3. "To present, analyze, or critique complex arguments or discussion between two or more people (e.g. by the instructor ‘interrupting’ or stopping the discussion to draw attention to a particular concept or idea within the course, or to highlight an inconsistency in the argument)"

4. "To bring students primary audio resource material, either specially recorded or acquired from sound archives, for example":

  • "Recordings of naturally occurring events, e.g. political speeches, children talking, concerts or performances, eyewitness accounts"
  • "A selection of sources of audio evidence for students to analyze in terms of concepts taught in the course"

5. "To bring students the knowledge or wisdom of eminent people or leading researchers, through interviews"

6. "To record the voices of key stakeholders or ‘actors’ to represent or illustrate concepts and ideas to be discussed within a course"

7. "To change student attitudes:

  • "By presenting material in a novel or unfamiliar perspective"
  • "By presenting material in a dramatized form, enabling students to identify with someone with a different perspective"

8. "To provide students with a condensed oral argument that may":

  • "Reinforce points made elsewhere in the course"
  • "Introduce new points not made elsewhere in the course"
  • "Provide an alternative viewpoint to the perspectives in the rest of the course"
  • "Analyse or critique materials elsewhere in the course"
  • "Summarize or condense the main ideas or major points covered in the course"
  • "Provide new evidence in support of or against the arguments or perspectives covered elsewhere in the course"

9. "To provide corrections to the course, or deal with parts of the course where student feedback indicates difficulties"

10. "To relate the course to ‘breaking news’ that emphasizes the relevance or application of concepts within the course"

11. "To update the course when the knowledge base changes, e.g. when new research is published, by going to the source for a brief summary"

12. "For language teaching, to develop listening and speaking skills"

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