BAM! Kick It Up A Notch: Giving Voice to Your Online Course

Concurrent Session 1

Brief Abstract

Workshop leaders facilitate the creation of interactive audio/visual modules for use in online classes.


I’ve taught for roughly 20 years, fulltime since 2009, and maintained a professional development career in the nonprofit sector. Prior to fulltime teaching, I served as Director of the ECGC Women’s Business Center (WBC) servicing an eight-parish regional area. Prior to the WBC, I served as President/CEO for a statewide nonprofit for economics, Louisiana Council for Economic Education. I served as a nonprofit organizational consultant for 10 years in all NGO service types and in three countries (Canada, U.S., and Mexico). My first job with UL was in Advancement and Development, serving as the Prospect Researcher (AKA fundraising researcher). I came to work for the university after working for a legal defense firm representing class action litigation, and in the non-profit legal industry, with Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers and Lafayette Parish Bar Association and Law Library. I received my BA and Masters degree in English from UL, and currently ABD for a Ph.D. in Business Management Leadership.

Extended Abstract

By the end of this workshop, participants should achieve the following goals:
ïlearn about positive student response to audio/visual modules in online classes
ïsurvey some of the free resources available for audio/visual creation
ïdiscuss best practices for implementing interactivity in such modules
ïbe introduced to advanced digital storytelling
ïcreate their own audio/visual learning module for an online class

Target Audience:
ïTraining professionals
ïInstructional support
ïDesign thinkers

In a recent study that measured the impact of using the audio/video communication tool Jing, "participants reported strong preference for audio, feedback and immediacy; communication and interaction; and social presence" (Murphrey, 2012). Students indicate, "that the video-based communication made their instructors seem more real, present, and familiar, and that these relationships were similar to face-to-face instruction" (Borup, 2012). Results generated from the implementation of audio/visual modules have been universally positive. Consequently, the leaders of this workshop believe that more (and more advanced) (and more interactive) audio/visual modules should be used in online classes, and they would like to help online educators improve their classes in this way. The goal of the workshop is that participants leave with their own newly created audio/video module in hand. The workshop begins with a demonstration of the use of VoiceThread in an interdisciplinary technical writing course required for STEM students and a discussion of the ways adding a voice can improve learning through increased engagement and interaction. We will consider interactive audio/video learning in which students listening to or viewing the modules are encouraged to stop them periodically and interact directly with the material. This interactive process increases comprehension and creates opportunities for student-to-student learning. Next, participants will have the opportunity to create their own audio/visual-based learning module to be used in an online class. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to have prepared in advance the basic content material for the product they would like to create. Because licenses for educational tools vary from university to university, the tools used in this workshop are free, including Animoto, Jing, Powtoon, ScreenCast, Screenr, Vialogues, Vimeo, Voki, WeVideo, and the free version of VoiceThread. Participants who are new to audio/visual modules can create first-time examples, such as a course introduction or an illustrative anecdote. People with more experience may make progress towards the completion of an advanced audio-video module or an entire lesson. The workshop leaders will facilitate each participant's module creation process and be available to assist, answer questions, and provide feedback. We will view a recently published example of advanced digital storytelling created to convey "the essence of face-to-face lecture in an online learning environment" (Baim 2015) and discuss how an interactive element might be added to it. The last twenty minutes will be reserved for discussion among participants and, time permitting, the playing/viewing of clips from the newly created modules.