The most important thing I learned this semester was an understanding and awareness of the significance of sound in any and every environment. I have developed a greater awareness of the sounds within each environment and the impact the soundscape has on people within that environment. We seem to take sound for granted, and now it seems odd to me that sound is most often considered an afterthought in instructional design. I have also developed a greater comfort level for recording sound and editing sound files. Finally, the word “soundscape” has become a part of my vocabulary.
This course has demonstrated that sound is an ever-present teacher, because we are constantly learning about our environment from the sounds within it. I am not a teacher and do not intend on ever being a teacher, but as an instructional designer, I will be able to advocate for the use of sound as an important design element in instructional materials. I will use my new awareness of sound when designing e-courses by incorporating sounds as a design element rather than an “add-on.” I will be attuned to the impact of sound, both within and outside of the e-course, on the user’s learning experience.
All of the assignments in this class were deeply immersed in the Design, Development, and Utilization domains of the AECT standards. For the sound walk, sound map, and soundscape projects, we assessed learner characteristics and matched the instructional activities with those characteristics, established educational goals, designed an instructional message and strategies around those goals, integrated different media and technologies, and produced instructional materials. The activity in which we reviewed and assessed sound-based games and activities gave us some practice in the Evaluation domain.
In the first module we listened to Julian Treasure’s advice to listen to birdsong every day, so I will end my sound journal with this relaxing two-minute recording of birdsong from my backyard.
Image by Michael Murphy, http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelwm25/5866627898/