Unit 2: Downloading, Navigating, and Recording in Audacity

Objective: Participants will be able to access and identify the features of the Audacity platform.

  1. Locate and download the Audacity platform.
  2. Run Audacity client and identify its main options.
  3. Verify the connection of a microphone within Audacity.
  4. Record a piece of test audio.

Why Audacity for podcasting?

The Audacity sound production software meets the two most important factors for consumers: affordability and ease of access/use. In terms of its affordability, Audacity is open-source. This means that the platform is free for use by any individual at any time. In addition, its options are straightforward, making jumping in and beginning to create podcasts easy.

  • Much of the duration of this unit is designed as a piece of technical writing meant to guide participants through the steps of downloading and using Audacity to produce a piece of test audio. Prior to beginning, ensure that your microphone is properly connected. Any microphone will work, be it connected via a 3.5mm jack or USB port. You may use a headset, conventional microphone, or webcam to record your audio.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: In your internet browser, navigate to www.audacityteam.org


Step 2: Click the "Download Audacity" button.


Step 3: Select the version for your operating system.


Step 4: Select the download file labeled "Installer". As I am downloading the version for Windows in this example, the file I will download is "Audacity Windows Installer". In most cases, it will be the first file listed.


Step 5: Follow through the download process. Once it is complete, open Audacity.


Step 6: Note the following option bar. It is located to underneath the stop button. This drop down will allow you to select your connected microphone.


Step 7: Once you have selected your microphone, you may refer to the conventional playback buttons as seen below. When ready, you may click record to begin producing your audio.


Step 8: Once finished, click the stop button to end your recording. Your audio will look similar to the following image, though your audio may extend longer than this example.


Step 9: When you are ready to save your audio, click File > Export > Export as MP3. You will see the dialogue window below. Give your audio a name that will clearly remind you the course, section, and date that the audio pertains to.


Step 10: You will then be given the opportunity to include metadata in your audio file. You may choose to fill this information or skip it. It is purely optional.


Step 11: Navigate to your Blackboard page.


Step 12: As this is a test Blackboard page, it is fairly empty. I will choose to upload my audio to the "Content" area.


Step 13: In the content area, hover over "Build Content" and select "Audio". You will see the following upload page:


Step 14: Give your file a name that will be displayed to your learners. Then select "Browse My Computer", find your saved audio, and select it.


Step 15: Leave all audio options set to no. If you only have one piece of audio in a content area, it will autorun with no ability to keep it from doing so in Blacboard. However, if you have more than one piece of audio, no audio will play until the learner chooses which to listen to. Click "Submit".


Step 16: Once submitted, Blackboard will automatically display the audio in a player with basic options for playback.


Complete the following before advancing to the next unit:

  • Return to your addendum. Either within the addendum or via a link provided in the addendum, offer students a concise guide to accessing and playing audio on Blackboard. Keep the needs of all potential learners in mind. If a particular portion of your guide is unneeded by a potential learner (they come to your course with one of the skills involved), they will move on, but those who need that information will have access to it.

Continue on to Unit 3: Advanced Production and Blackboard Uses.
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