Educational Video and Audio Media used in Distance Learning
What are recorded video and recorded audio used in distance learning? They are just ways to relay the
information from the instructor to the students. In the category of recorded video, the most common methods are
video tape, DVD and vodcasting. If the method of delivery is recorded audio, you will most likely encounter CD-ROM,
cassette tapes, audio files and podcasts.
There are two basic ways that educational video and audio are delivered. In the first case, it can be physically
on the media (CD, CD-ROM, cassette tape, etc.) or electronically. The instructor has the additional option of
bundling the recording with another form of instruction or sending it as a stand-alone unit. The benefit to the
student is that he can review and study the lesson material at his own convenience. If the student needs to review
to clarify the material, he can repeat the process as many times as necessary. This is reinforcement that is
lacking in a traditional learning environment in cases where the student may have missed a lecture or
Perhaps you recall an old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." This is very true in the case of
recorded video and that is why it is so effective in distance learning, especially when the instructor is not
present to provide analogies in order to get his point across. In addition, recorded video is very engaging and
holds the student’s attention and aids in material retention.
There are times when the complexity of the material makes it hard for the student to comprehend it at first
glance. One of the wonderful aspects about recorded material is that it can be played over and over until the
concept is crystal clear.
Recorded audio material is also very effective and has an added benefit: it is very inexpensive to make and to
maintain. If the course material needs an update due to any kind of change, the material simply needs to be
re-recorded once and redistributed. Redistribution is very economical as well, as it can be emailed to students or
downloaded over the Internet no matter where they reside.
One drawback with the use of recorded audio is that it does not have the same sensory impact as recorded video.
The end result is that it is not as effective a medium. Students have been shown to retain more information and
increase their attention span when they have a chance to interact with their instructor or other students.
Recorded video has its drawbacks as well. A major drawback is that the cost to script, set up and produce video
content tends to be very high compared to audio production. Just as with recorded audio, video lacks the ability to
allow back and forth communication between instructor and student. Also, if the subject matter needs to be revised
over time, the high production costs kick back in again.
The most appropriate time to use recorded video is when presenting illustrations, lectures, case studies and
graphic descriptions. Recorded video is best used for lecture narration and describing things that are easy to