Interactive documents: using audio + visual together

After producing an audio file/”podcast” on how to read a type of university policy document called an “RRSDA” or records retention schedule, I distributed the audio to various folks and asked for feedback.

One frequent piece of feedback was that, for new users, it was simply too difficult to follow along without looking at a sample document. The audio alone was fine for people who have already seen policy documents of this type, but new folks needed to SEE and HEAR in order to figure out what I was talking about.

This led me to ThingLink, an educational tool that allows you to embed sound, video, and links into a static document to construct an interactive experience for the user. The result is below.

If this document is not interactive (i.e., nothing pops up as you mouse over the doc), access it instead on ThingLink.

CJSF and sound

EdMedia has begun producing, and helping faculty produce more educational audio resources than ever before. While we offer occasional audio workshops, and have guided budding sound producers one on one as part of the Edmedia program, there are a couple other sources of sound expertise on campus that we think are valuable to check out. First our local radio station CJSF offers Audacity and Sound recording workshops for its “A&E” volunteers.  These are not regularly scheduled so you should sign up to their maillist to get the latest updates!


You may also check out their resources wiki for a bunch of CJSF related stuff including Audacity info and this gem on “Writing for Radio“, with many useful tips.


Finally the folks at CJSF are active listeners and have organized a “listening pod” (similar to a  book club) called “Pod Club – A Storytelling Podcast Discussion Group” which meets once a month to discuss…

If you’re a radio/media nerd and love listening to storytelling podcasts like This American Life, Radiolab, Love + Radio, Strangers, The Heart, 99% Invisible or any other sound stories come join the club!

The next meeting is coming up July 28th! and I’m very interested in checking this out!


In the future the edmedia team is hoping to create more opportunities for SFU faculty to explore sound, including something akin to a Soundcamp as fashioned by colleagues at TRU. More news as it unfolds!


Experiential Learning recorded audio series

Above is the playlist – uploaded from Soundcloud

Here’s a TLC/Edmedia solution to a content creation problem.

Originally video recorded, this roundtable discussion on Experiential Learning was intended to be edited into a series of short video pieces. But the original scope and request – to only mic the guest speakers during their 10-15 minute introduction, along with the relatively stationary “talking head” frame of the video exposed the limitations in effectiveness and appeal. So instead of creating video content, we explored audio. By creating a “listen” only asset, audiences are not distracted by an image, and are free to become more immersed in the content. They are also more likely to be forgiving when the audio quality drops in the second half of the segment. (this occurred when the individual lapel mic was turned off and general group discussion was recorded using room mics.)

So while there may be some “quality” compromises in the final asset creation, being willing and able to be flexible and adapt to the content realities allowed for a useful, shareable and valuable audio asset.

Finding Audio Tools – [T.e.l.l. January]

A sequence of slides accompanied by instructor audio is one of the easiest multimedia enhancements to an online course. But how do you get this media online in a form that best supports learning. Keith Webster and Hayley Hewson from Technology Integrated Learning at the University of Victoria will share the results of their recent evaluation of various solutions to this problem.

Finding the Best Tool for Creating Slides with Audio

[T.e.l.l. January] Finding the Best Tool for Creating Slides with Audio from BCcampus on Vimeo.