Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.

Audacity

Introduction

Audacity is free downloadable software that allows you to record and edit speech. Audacity allows you to drop audio clips into PowerPoint slides or to record your voice as a reminder to students about dates for assignments, readings, and quizzes/tests. Audacity does not convert speech to text, but equips your computer to function as an instant recording device. You can use your own voice recordings to supplement notes posted to the class on WebCT or BlackBoard, and augment online discussion postings, PowerPoint slides, and required readings with auditory input.

The benefits of multimedia instructional materials for students with diverse abilities and needs are significant; and Audacity can help you create these learning opportunities for all students.

 

Please click below for an audio of the introduction to Audacity.

 

Instructions on How to Use Audacity

Please click here to download a pdf version of the instructional guide to Audacity (Mac version).

Please click here PDF download to download a pdf version of the instructional guide to Audacity (Windows version).

 

Please click below for video demonstrations of Audacity

Demo: Record and Save

Demo: Edit

 

For additional information on guidelines for quality and accessibility, please visit the following resources:

Audio Quality Standards:

PDF downloadhttp://www.lehman.edu/faculty/hoffmann/itc/techteach/audio/Audio_guidelines.html
PDF downloadhttp://www.lehman.edu/faculty/hoffmann/itc/techteach/audio/audiotechinfo.html
PDF downloadhttp://www.lehman.edu/faculty/hoffmann/itc/techteach/audio/Audio_on_your_computer.html

Audio Accessibility Guidelines:

PDF downloadhttp://www.usa.gov/webcontent/accessibility/508compliant-and-accessible-multimedia.shtml

Technical Requirements and Where to Access Audacity

Mac Requirements:

  • 300 MHz processor speed
  • Mac OS X 10.1 or later
  • 64 MB RAM

Windows Requirements:

  • 1 GHz processor speed
  • Windows 2000 or XP
  • 512 MB RAM

 

Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ to go download Audacity for free.

 

Picture of an Audacity wave file of an audio recording.

Reviews

Every e-Tool in the e-Toolbox was reviewed by either a UDI Online Project research and design team member, or one or several faculty at five partner institutions who incorporated a specific e-Tool into an online or blended course they taught. Faculty from these partner institutions also requested that students review the e-Tool included in a course or products created through the use of the e-Tool (e.g., documents, videos, audio clips, or other items). Likert scale surveys with open-ended questions were used by respondents.  Feedback from the reviewing UDI Online team member or faculty who used a tool is presented in addition to student ratings when available.

 

Faculty e-Tool Review Results
Number of faculty reviewers: 5

1. The e-tool was easy to incorporate into my course.

picture of results-71.4% of reviewers strongly agreed that this e-tool was easy to incorporate into their course.  14.3% of reviewers agreed that this e-tool was easy to incorporate into their course. 14.3% of reviewers strongly disagreed that this e-tool was easy to incorporate into their course.

2. I used the e-tool to address the following: (Select all that apply).

Picture of result-57.1% of reviewers used this e-tool to state and explain course requirements. 14.3% of reviewers used this e-tool to allow students to demonstrate mastery of content.  42.9% of reviewers used this e-tool for other uses (their comments on usage are below).

 

Other:

  • Recording and allowing access to examples of poetic meter.
  • Facilitating communication between instructor and student.
  • Used to add audio to powerpoint presentations and to web pages.

3. Do you think the e-tool exemplified the construct of UDI within your course?
(UDI is defined as an approach to teaching that consists of the proactive design and use of inclusive instructio

picture of results-57.1% of rev iewers strongly agreed that this e-tool exemplified the construct of universal design for instruction in their course.   42.9% of rev iewers agreed that this e-tool exemplified the construct of universal design for instruction in their course.

4. Please comment on the benefits of using the e-tool in your course.

  • Allowed students to master the meter.
  • Creating audio files that play on web pages.
  • Great to add human voice and emphasize points. By using my voice, I was able to highlight and emphasize concepts that are not as easy to do via words alone. Also, adds a human connection to the course.
  • I used it to create weekly narrated messages, reminding students about upcoming assignments.
  • Adds the human element to the course with verbal versus written messages.

5. Please comment on any drawbacks of using the e-tool in your course.

  • Very difficult to convert .wav files to .mpeg format. The latter are much smaller and I thought that was going to be an important factor. But, I think it was my own lack of knowledge of software that resulted in making it such a difficult experience.
  • No text to speech feature- would not work with hearing impaired community.
  • If a hearing impaired or deaf student was in the class, it would not work.
  • There were times when it had an error and then I had to start the recording over.
  • File size prohibited me from sending message via e-mail. Had to rely on announcements.

6. I will use the e-tool in another course.

Picture of results-100% of reviewers would use this e-tool in another course.

7.In the future, I will use the e-tool to address the following: (Select all that apply)

Picture of results-71.4% of reviewers will this e-tool in the future to state and explain course requirements. 28.6% of reviewers will this e-tool in the future to facilitate communication with and between students.  14.3% of reviewers will this e-tool in the future to allow students to demonstrate mastery of content.

 

 

Student e-Tool Review Results

Number of students who took the survey: 17

Number of students with learning disabilities who took the survey: 2

1. The tool was easy to use.

 Picture of the result -tool easy to use

2. The tool assisted me with the following: (Select all that apply)

Picture of result of how the tool assist me

3. Please comment on the benefits of using the tool in the course.

  • It added a personal aspect to an online class.