Category Archives: Instancy Authoring

How to Produce Good Quality Audio for eLearning Courses

Learn how to produce a good quality audio for eLearning and mlearning courses. The recording environment and the equipment to produce good audio output.

When putting together an online course, one problem that you can come across is one of audio quality. For the top courses, thousands of dollars of editing, optimization and mastery has gone into making the audio performance absolutely top notch. Seen as many people can lack the funds, the time or the ability to make this possible, though, you have to do more than a few little tricks and tips to make your sound quality absolutely spot on.

It takes a lot of work, though, for sure. To help you make sure that the audio quality for your online course can be as clear as possible to reduce confusion, you need to take a closer at some very important elements. Let’s have a view at what they are.

The Recording Environment

The Recording Environment to produce good quality audio for eLearning courses
The Recording Environment to produce good quality audio for eLearning courses!

The first thing is the recording environment itself. The most common issue to ruin a good online course is to have an echo or a tinny, open effect in the background. It reduces the audio impact and can leave one too many listeners straining to hear.

It’s good to invest in a few acoustic panels to be used in a recording room, and also use some extra coverage such as cushions and even couches to help “trap” the noise into the recording area to stop the expansive of the room being so obvious.

Also, make sure that you have no background noises. From having excessive gain on the sound that creates a distortion effect to having the whole thing recorded in Stereo, not Mono, forcing it to come out of one speaker, there are many mistakes that can be made.

The Equipment Used

The Equipment Used to produce good quality audio for eLearning courses
The Equipment Used to produce good quality audio for eLearning courses!

From what you record on to how you save the audio itself, multiple factors come to life that determines the success or failure of the sound that you are making. To help you get around this problem, we recommend that you look into getting a microphone that can carry the quality of the Heil PR 40. It’s a pod-casters dream, and can be great for making an online course nice and crisp, too.

Also, the best sound formats to work with for the sound is going to be WAV. You can find that it’s quite a high-space sound format but it’s easily the clearest and best. You can also convert WAV into MP3 without much audio loss, and then sync it on top of any of the videos that you are working with.

For sound quality, though, you should always start off with a WAV file. Easy enough to edit and simple enough to sync with a video, they make the best options for making audio learning content that is crisp and clear for all to hear.

So, your two main problems are going to stem from saving in a poor quality audio format, or recording in a poor quality of room. Add some acoustics, use the best mic, and save it in a WAV, and you can find that the audio problem that were holding back your idea from making the most of itself can soon vanish!

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Gamification in a Learning Management System

Gamification in a Learning Management System (LMS) and eLearning Environment has got Many Exiting things with learning promotion.

Gamification in Learning Management System
Gamification in a Learning Management System

Overview

Gamification of the learning online environment has caught on tremendously today with exciting game-like interfaces, interactions, quizzes and much more to facilitate and promote learning. Rewards and recognition in these learning games helps motivate the learners to participate and complete the learning program. Gamification can be applied to course content and the learning environment, as required. This article will focus on gamification at the learning environment (or the learning management system).

Gamification Learning Management System in eLearning Environment

What is Gamification?

Gamification is defined as the basic application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming scenarios. The use of game mechanics, dynamics, and frameworks to promote desired behaviors is used in domains like education, marketing, politics, healthcare and much more. Analysts foresee it becoming a multi-billion dollar industry by 2015 (MacMillan, 2011).

Components of Gamification

Gamification elements are usually defined around the areas of teamwork, collaboration, and competition.

Simple “scoring” and ranking techniques like badges are used in most courses today. Other gamification techniques may include reminders via email or mobile learning apps that connect the users back to the learning system. Research shows that a learner, after having drifted away from a learning program, may be motivated to rejoin the program after seeing a notification about how their peers are doing in the program. A learning system that connects with social platforms used by learners, such as Facebook orTwitter, is popular among today’s learners.

Some of the main components of gamification are explained below.

A Well-defined Learning Objective

Having an objective is very important for an adult learner. Gamification should help a learner reach his or her objective. Games that do not help a learner achieve a goal or reinforce learning are ineffective and demotivating.

Points

Points are used in gamification to a great extent. Points can be accumulated in exchange for gifts or other rewards. A mechanism that assigns points each time a user performs an action within an LMS is a great idea to keep learners involved.

Levels

Multiple levels may be assigned to the learners based on their progress and achievement after completing certain activities

Timer

Gamification may also include a timer function on certain activities. The timer function motivates learners to complete the assignment by a certain deadline.

Progress Bar

A progress bar helps learners know where they are and how far they still have to go. Learners will be driven to take steps to 100% completion when a progress bar is displayed for certain actions.

Leaderboards

Leaderboards are one of the major features of games. Leaderboards are defined on the Gamification Wiki as “a means by which users can track their performance subjective to others. Leaderboards visually display where a user stands in regards to other users. They are implemented on sites to show which players have unlocked the most achievements. The desire to appear on the Leaderboards drives players to earn more achievements, in turn fueling deep engagement.” Leaderboards drive performance and give learners a strong sense of community.

Rewards, Badges and Certificates

Motivational tools like rewards, badges and certificates keep a learner interested and engaged. Learners are, therefore, encouraged to do better in exchange for rewards and badges as a proof of their success. Having a real-world reward helps translate virtual success into real-world value for learners. A scoring system that is linked to the actual participation in an E-Learning program will help learners get a competitive spirit. A badge for E-Learning can be directly connected to a point system.

Recognition and Acknowledgement

Learners may be recognized for their accomplishments or contribution within the learning environment. This recognition may be automated by the system, for example, the learners’ names and pictures may be featured on the learning portal or website. In addition, recognition from peers and experts within a community may be even more motivating for most individuals.

Social

Social connectivity is a powerful engagement tool in today’s times. Introducing social networking as part of gamification in an LMS is a great way of keeping learners engaged. Gamification elements that take advantage of social networking include sharing scores, badges, and statuses to the major social platforms. Social networks can be used to recommend content and even entire courses to co-workers and peers; post reviews of courses, and host discussions about course content in the form of comments as well as directed questions.

Gamification in a Learning Management System (LMS)

When learners first log in to their LMS, they may not have any idea about gamification and how gamification features work. As they gain more familiarity with the LMS user interface, they begin to get more skilled, engaged and educated about the gamification features. Initially, many learners may not go beyond the ‘Novice’ level due to lack of interest in the LMS or content with found within the LMS. Getting such learners engaged with the LMS, learning process and content through gamification will surely help them become masters!

The process of gamification in an LMS includes:

  • The learner logs into the LMS and sees a message explaining the benefits of the learning programs. Learners are asked several questions and then understand how ‘gamified’ eLearning will help them
  • Learners are given a tour of the LMS and its gamification features
  • The LMS tracks all learner activities like login details, profile edits, social activity, formal learning, contributions, participation in discussion forums and so on. Learners are given a chance to earn more rewards or points while learning online. For example, changing the profile picture may give points. New eLearning technical standards and protocols like Experience API (xAPI) can be successfully used to track various learner activities at the LMS and course levels and can help implement gamification features
  • A progress bar encourages learners to view their current status and helps them move toward completing a particular level to earn additional badges
  • Rewards, points, badges or certificates are awarded as per the activities or lessons completed and may be displayed through visually exciting ways within the LMS interface
  • Email notifications and mobile push notifications may be used inform users about their progress and invite them to participate in the learning activities
  • Gamification encourages competition and cooperation amongst learners. Rewarding learners for their contribution, achievements and participation is truly motivational and engaging to them.

Summary

Many studies in gamification have shown that the mechanism of a game increases the involvement of users while stimulating their active attendance. Having participants actively involved, and not mere passive recipients of content, is one of the most important challenges of conventional learning modes. Inadequate engagement of the learners with the learning management system has resulted in dropouts, failures, and lesser interest of learners in the learning program.

Gamification has proved to increase engagement and motivate a learner to do far better. What’s more, it enhances qualities such as diligence, originality, and resilience. However, gamification can only provide tools, and those tools must produce results that are worth the investment. The process of gamification in learning must give students comprehensible and actionable tasks with immediate rewards instead of vague and unclear long-term benefits.