We’re big fans of using multimedia to vary the way in which quality content is presented in your course shell.
If you’ve never added audio or video content (or maybe your skills in this area are a bit rusty), your instructor bio is a great place to start. We’ve built a lovely template that you can use to convey the basic info. You can embellish that using our information about recording and uploading audio or video clips. Giving students the ability to hear your voice or even see a video of you can really help to build connections, especially in fully online courses.
If you’re ready to move beyond the bio and add audio and video to course content, here are some great tips from TechSmith (the makers screen capture and recording software) for when your video will contain important – but not necessarily super-exciting – information.
But what about audio? Audio files place less strain on the network and are easier and quicker to download and play. Additionally, this is a nice and practical summary of what cognitive psychologists have to say about the preferential processing of audio input. As the blog post points out, voices matter.
In fact, I can still vivdly remember the day in my high school English class when we listened to a recording of William Butler Yeats reading “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” The quality of the recording was somewhat lacking, but there was beauty and power and transformation in hearing those words. I wasn’t an English major in college, and I didn’t, obviously, go on to become a poet. But the power of those words – of hearing the poet speak them in his lilting, wavering voice has stuck with me all these years. (If you’d like to try listening to the poem yourself, here is a recording; the poem itself begins around 2:00)
I’d urge you to try adding some multimedia to your course shell. After all, you never know the memories your students will retain years down the road!