Using Interactive Audio Soundboards in E-Learning #317

Interactive Audio Soundboards for Learning #317: Challenge | Recap

If you've spent any time online, I'm sure you've come across a few celebrity soundboards. Soundboards have been around for quite a few years, and they're nothing more than a series of interactive audio clips triggered by pressing buttons.

Soundboards usually feature funny quotes, one-liners, or catchphrases from pop culture and celebrities. 

This Napoleon Dynamite soundboard is a typical example:

Napoleon Dynamite soundboard

Napoleon Dynamite soundboard

Soundboards for Learning

As much fun as soundboards are to play with and create; they also offer course designers a creative way to incorporate expert voices into their e-learning courses.

One of my favorite soundboard examples is the Perspectives on Haiti's Earthquake package by the New York Times. Unfortunately, the project is no longer available (RIP Flash Player), but it was a fantastic example of audio soundboards for learning.

Soundboards for Learning

Here's a simple version of the project I built using Storyline's text-to-speech as audio placeholders. Using wipe animations, I created audio progress indicators that synced with the narration.

Character Soundboard Using Text-to-Speech

View the project | Download the source

The Voice of Experts Lends Authenticity

The voices of experts, specialists, and employees performing tasks can lend credibility and authenticity to your course. Rather than using your SMEs for their content expertise, use them for their authentic voices. Let your SMEs drive the storytelling in your soundboards.

Here’s a design concept for a compliance soundboard:

SME Compliance Soundboard

Reducing Bullet Points with Audio Sound Bites

Are you looking to reduce on-screen text and bullet points? Soundboards are another presentation strategy for lists, FAQs, best practices, and expert tips. Here's another design mockup as an example:

Reducing Bullet Points with Audio Sound Bites

Challenge of the Week

This week, your challenge is to share an example that demonstrates how interactive audio soundboards can be used in e-learning.

Learning Soundboard Ideas:

Here are a few soundboard ideas to help you get started.

  • Sales and marketing: Seek out salespeople who always exceed expectations. Curate their wisdom into interactive audio sound bites.
  • Instructional design quotes: Create a learning soundboard for your industry by interviewing experts in your industry.
  • FAQs: Convert an FAQ slide into interactive sound bites using one or more speakers.
  • Customers: Create a customer-focused soundboard where you ask customers what they think about your company or services.

Share Your E-Learning Work

  • Comments: Use the comments section below to share a link to your published example and blog post.
  • Forums: Start  your own thread and share a link to your published example..
  • Personal blog:  If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We’ll link back to your posts so the great work you’re sharing gets even more exposure.
  • Twitter: If you share your demos on Twitter, try using #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can track your e-learning coolness.

Last Week’s Challenge:

Before you sound off on this week’s challenge, check out the creative lightbox slide examples your fellow challengers shared over the past week:

Using Lightbox Slides in E-Learning Courses #316

Using Lightbox Slides in E-Learning #316: Challenge | Recap


New to the E-Learning Challenges?

The weekly e-learning challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.

Jeffrey Riley
Trina Rimmer
Susan Schleef
Miki Turtsanyi
Patti Myers