Adding Audio to Your Course
In order to record audio you will need two things: a recording device and a recording program. In addition, you may need to load your audio file on UM-Flint's streaming server, depending on the size of the file.
Most computers have a built-in recording program but most do not allow for complex audio editing. If you are working in Windows, look in All Programs > Accessories > Sound Recorder. Depending on your version of Windows, the file will be saved as a .Wav or .WMA file, though there are limitations to consider with both formats. WAV files, though high in quality, are uncompressed, and can create very large files for short sound clips. WMA are compressed files, but may not be easily accessible to students using alternative operating systems, such as Mac OS X and Linux.
The Windows Sound Recorder interface is relatively straightforward. Notice the buttons along the bottom of the window. When you begin a new recording the only button available is the record button (red circle). Once you have recorded, the rewind, fast forward, play and stop become active. Notice the play head just above the buttons. As you record, the play head will move along the horizontal line. You will also notice the waveforms in the dark box above the play head as you record or playback the audio.
Sound Recorder allows for some basic editing. Using the Effects menu allows for Increasing or Decreasing volume or speed, adding echo and reversing the audio.
Sound Recorder only allows you to save files as (.wav) files. You can put these files directly into Blackboard. However, review the compatibility issues below.Audacity
Audacity is a free, cross-platform software for recording and editing sound. You can download the software at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ . Audacity allows for more detailed editing and manipulation of sound. There is a separate help guide for downloading Audacity and saving a file as an MP3 file.
Sound formats and considerations
Any sound you add directly to Blackboard (rather than linking to from a streaming server) will require a full download into the user's computer memory before the file will play. Use this Download calculator to find out how long it will take a student using a dial-up connection to access the file.
Adding audio content to Blackboard
This will give you the pop-up window below: