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Audio and Video

Introduction, Getting Started, Exploring, Step-by-Step Instructions


Faculty can design learning environments that support different student learning styles by providing multiple opportunities for learning. Including audio and video in online courses helps visual and aural learners make connections to the content and the instructor.

Audio can be used for welcome messages that introduce students to your course or you can create other audio content. Audio can also be integrated into student assignments where the students create audio files; for example, interviews, language readings, or a musical performance.

In this module you will learn how to create an audio welcome message and upload it into your D2L course. You do not need expensive equipment or training to complete this module but should be comfortable in using technology.

Getting Started

Developing audio messages for your course involves some planning and use of special hardware and (free) software applications. Simple audio welcome messages do not take a great deal of time to create and do not require highly technical expertise. Review the information below to help you get started.

  • What are Audio Messages?

Audio messages are merely sound files that can incorporate voice, music or other sounds; one purpose for audio messages is to introduce students to you and your course. Once you have created your message you can easily upload it into D2L. In this module you will learn about creating a welcome message for an online course. You will need a microphone, a freeware sound application (Audacity), and a Windows or Mac OS X equipped computer.

  • Why Use Audio Messages?

Audio content helps to make connections with your students as well as provide them with alternate media for learning. A welcome message provides students with a quick overview of your course.

  • How Do I Create Audio Messages?

Refer to the Exploring section of this page to learn how to create a welcome message and upload it into your online course.


To create an audio message, review the information and examples below. Once you have the software installed and a microphone to create the audio file, you are ready to create your script. The step-by-step instructions (Performing) will guide you through the process of creating your audio file.

What You Need:

  • Examples of Audio Messages

Faculty Welcome Message (164K MP3, 20 Seconds)
ED110 Dr. Kolencik

  • Considerations

- Instructor and Student Skills & Requirements

No special skills are needed to listen to the audio files. The instructor should be comfortable with using technology in order to create and upload audio files.

- Time

Audio messages take less than 15 minutes to create and upload into your course if you have already written your script and have the software and hardware in place. Use the download time calculator to see how long it will take your students to download the audio file. To determine the size of your audio file, you will need to view the file properties. On Windows right click on the file and select properties; on Macintosh click on the file and select File>Get Info on the menu bar.

- Computer Requirements

You should have a computer with XP or greater (Windows) or OS X (Mac) to create your message. In order to hear the audio file, instructors and students will need to have Windows Media Player, QuickTime, RealPlayer, iTunes or other application that will play mp3 files that are supported in D2L.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 - Assemble Equipment

  • Identify a computer you will use for your audio message

  • Obtain an external microphone

    • Do not use an internal microphone since they may pick up ambient sounds or noise from the computer.

    • Headset? An inexpensive USB headset can be picked up at your local office supply store.

    • Borrow a microphone from the LTC or create your audio file using the faculty development room (103 Still). Contact the LTC at x1848 to schedule an appointment or stop by.

Step 2 - Obtain Sound Recording Software

  • Download and install the Audacity software. A free download is available for Windows and Macintosh users at Audacity's web site:

    • MP3 Encloder Add-On

    Note: To save the files as MP3 (recommended for smaller file sizes) you will need the LAME encoder for Audacity or iTunes software (see download info below).

    • iTunes Downloads (To convert files to MP3)

    • If you are on campus, contact the help desk for assistance in installation of either of these programs. Provide them with the URL of the software download to expedite the process.

    • If you need assistance in using the software, contact the Learning and Technology Center staff at x 1848.

Step 3 - Create a Transcript

  • Create a transcript of your message

     > When you create your script, the first task is to ask yourself what you want the students to know. You might create a welcome message that tells the students a little bit about yourself and what the course will be about. Use a friendly and conversational tone in your message. Try to keep the welcome message fairly short since media files can become quite large. Check out the download time calculator for a 2 MB file. If you save the same file as an MP3 file, it will only be 196K.

Step 4 - Create the Audio Message

  • Create the audio file with Audacity software 

    • Audacity is a free, multi-platform software program that will work on both Mac and PC computer systems. (Watch for a workshop or call the LTC x1848 for one-on-one instruction if needed)

Step 5 - Convert the Audio Message to MP3

  • Convert the audio message from a .wav file to an mp3 file. MP3 files are much smaller than wav files. Click on the link below (Convert to MP3 using iTunes) for more information. For example, a 2.1 MB wav file is only 196K as an MP3 file. The smaller file size will take less time for students to download. Your MP3 files can also be downloaded to MP3 players or CDs.

Step 6 - Upload or Publish the Message

  • Upload the audio file into Desire2Learn.

    • Select Content > Manage files

    • Select Upload; browse to the file location, select the file and click "Upload"

    • Go to Manage Content > Create a new file

    • Click the "Insert stuff" Icon in the .html editor and select "course files" from the left navigation panel