The Future of Learning and Audio Content


Do you listen to podcasts or some form of audio track during your week?

When you are out and about and particularly on public transport, reflect on how many people have a set of earphones in. I have paid attention to this recently, and it’s safe to say earphones may as well be considered a second limb for many. People listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks when they are walking down the street, on the train or typing away at their computer. There is no limit to where you can listen to audio.

It seems that access to audio on the go is important and convenient for many of us. According to Nielsen statistics on streaming in 2016, there was roughly 1.5X more audio consumed than video (Vaynerchuck, 2017) and I think this is saying something. This was reinforced to me when my friend approached me with insights and tips from a new podcast she had found. She had consumed this content all whilst participating in her normal work day and I could sense her excitement and satisfaction from having access to this new-found information.

This got me thinking, why is audio so popular? I had a fair idea of why I loved to listen to audio though I also thought I would do some research. What I found was extremely interesting and made total sense.

In the fast-paced world that we live in, saving time is what humans value and when it comes to consuming content, audio allows us to do that. I don’t know about you, but I often have a to-do list that is longing to be completed and on the other hand I have a strong desire to continue my learning and keep up with what is happening in the world. This has resulted in me checking my emails and attacking my to-do list whilst also listening to my favourite podcast. Don’t get me wrong, I love YouTube when it comes to video but I often can’t do two things at once and it requires all my attention to consume the content the second that it starts. Audio content allows me to keep up with my day-to-day life whilst also learning and consuming a significant amount of information.

Whilst many of us listen to audio tracks for pleasure such as our favourite music album or comedian, I had noticed that I was spending a lot of time listening to audio for learning. Humans are curious, and I was finding myself looking for content that would fulfil my curious nature and need for new information. This got me thinking of the impact this ‘sound revolution’ could, and is, having on the world of learning. If we want to add value to our end-user and increase their motivation to learn, let’s hand over the learning in a format that works for them.

Here are two ways that you can incorporate audio content into your learning solutions.

1. Create a Podcast

I personally know that when I want to learn about a certain topic it helps me to hear from a human that has experience with it. If I want to understand how gamification works, I am much more likely to listen to a person talking about it rather than read a whole book on it. I do love books, though with the time that I have and my desire to consume content quickly, I often need a solution that is on-the-go and allows me to multi-task.

When there is a learning to be shared with your audience, think about how you could deliver it in an audio format. For example, if you needed to launch a learning solution on company values, why not record the CEO and a group of staff members discussing the values in a podcast format? You can then release this audio track to staff in your organisation and they can listen to it while they are working at their desk, on the train or when they are lying in bed at night. The audio format allows them to consume the content when and where they want to.




2. Create Bite-Sized Audio Tracks

For your learning solutions, think about how you could transform the content into bitesize audio tracks. These audio tracks could be a great way to compliment your end-users learning experience and will potentially be much more likely to fit into their ‘life schedule’ over a video or book.

If you design a face-to-face course, rather than fitting all the content into a one-day session (memory overload?!), why not split up some of the content into sound files? You could have the facilitator record themselves discussing different topics or you could curate content by linking your learners to audio content online (e.g. ted talks or podcast episodes). The learner can then listen to the audio files before or after the course. This enables their learning journey to extend beyond the face-to-face course and allows them to learn the content when it is convenient for them.




Those are two ways that you can incorporate audio into your learning solutions. There are so many possibilities for audio into the future and this blog only scrapes the surface of what is out there. I would recommend, if you haven’t done so already, that you reflect on how you can leverage an audio platform when designing your learning solutions. The convenience of audio is creating a world that enables us to learn on-the-go and in a way that doesn’t disrupt our daily duties. A great way to motivate your learners to engage in your learning content is to deliver it in a way that is convenient for them and audio is a great way to do this!

If you are using audio in your learning solutions or to share content with your community, we would love to hear about it! We hope that this blog adds value to your craft and prepares you for the future of learning and audio content.

                                                         References

Vaynerchuk, C. (2017). The Rise of Audio and Voice. Retrieved from https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/rise-audio-voice/

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