Text Review

Do I add a bibliography – I was told that I didn’t have to for a text review? Is that correct?
I have all the references if needed. Thanks



A Text review

Audio in Online Courses:
Beyond Podcasting

Charles A. Schlosser, Ph.D.
Instructional Technology & Distance Education
with Marsha L. Burmeister, Ed.D.
Fischler School of Education & Human Services
Nova Southeastern University
Marsha L. Burmeister, Ed.D. (2006) Audio in Online Courses: Beyond Podcastins. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/~burmeist/audio_online.html
October 20, 2011,


Schlosser and Burmeister 2006, identify a resurgence in the use of audio in education, due in part to the increased availability of technology.

In this paper they describe the mission of distance learning and the use of technology as a suite of tools to allow the student to student to learn synchronously or asynchronously at a time that suits them. They discuss the development of web delivery mechanisms, textbook readings, and text chat but primarily situate them as replacements and solutions for physical print, and otherwise geographically and time based situations.

They state that with audio and mobile devices becoming increasingly common, inexpensive, and straightforward to use, this was a major driver in their acceptance as devices with which to record archive, replicate and share content.

They had a good understanding of the technological application of these new tools, but primarily saw these emergent technologies as direct technological replacements for what went before.

The authors of this paper view digital learning as a creation small reusable chunks of resources or “Learning Objects” (Richards, et al 2002), i.e digital resources created to construct e-learning experiences and repositories, encouraging their use, exchange, and reuse.” (p.1). Items are packaged and delivered online as if they were books or training manuals.

The authors assert that with the development of concomitant technologies such as iTunes, and its web based relative RSS that the ease of creation of learning objects and mechanisms of their transmission created the conditions for the effortless reproduction and dissemination of audio data.

This paper does indeed assert that audio is a very important component in learning – they cite relevant literature to back up this claim, including Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, and the notion that multimodal learners can benefit by combining sound with visuals, some additional primary literature, e.g, the inclusion of Flemming’s VARK theory, or the “Thinking Styles” model (Sternberg) could have strengthened their argument in terms of describing cognitively how audio recordings actually help learners learn.

The paper effectively refers to how learning can be enhanced by technology but makes the claim that the technology will not influence student achievement. It merely makes it more convenient. This paper views the development of digital tools as a continuum of the existing modes of teaching and learning. i.e. teacher as expert. Student as digester of content, whilst ignoring the Constructivist element that technology has brought to bear on Learning.

Whilst the paper was correct in a lot of its assertions it’s weakness is that it did not consider the transformative effect that technology would have on the actual nature of learning, or the transformative effects that social learning in particular would have on this new suite of tools, Its ability to create online Communities of Practice (Wenger 1998), with each student constructing their own knowledge through interaction with others.

Constructivist pedagogies view learning as a process in which the learner actively “constructs” or builds “new ideas or concepts” based upon “current and past knowledge” with the tutor acting as facilitator. Duffy and Cunningham (1996). Advocates of Constructivism suggest that learning is more effective when a student is actively engaged in the “construction” of knowledge rather than passively digesting it and the student,learning involves “the construction of their own knowledge from their own experiences”. Palinscar (1998) Sutherland (1992)

This paper was most surprising in that it did not consider the transformational effects these digital tools would have on the social dimension of learning, instead viewing technology as tools to continue traditional learning styles.

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