Evan Sveum, in a recent section of E-Learning for Educators, helped me see some of the power of using audio as a feedback mechanism for online classes. Evan has a real talent for this medium, and uses it very effectively.
So does, Susan Manning, the instructional design teacher for the certificate program. She's our programs podcasting guru. Susan also hosts LearningTimes.org's Green Room broadcasts. Here's a link to a podcast she did with my buddy Dan Balzer on the issue of voices in online learning: http://home.learningtimes.net/learningtimes?go=1633511
Since I have 'hand problems' that make typing painful, I've been thinking a bit about how to record feedback efficiently. Evan and I swapped a few mp3's by posting them to the discussion threads. Useful, but time consuming. I'm not ready for one on one... but as a broadcast tech or for weekly individualized feedback... we may be on to something.
I can see using mp3's for feedback, but I'm not so sure I'd encourage it for posting.
The upside: it save your hands. Hearing someones voice adds intimacy and personal connection.
The downside: Hard to skim. Hardware & software problems may lock out a portion of your audience. Increased use of bandwidth. Making recordings that make sense takes practice!
What do you think? How does hearing (or seeing) your online instructor change a student's perception of learning?
ps: Feel free to post an audio response!