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Record audio chapters

What Are We Looking For?

Anyone with

Overview

There will be more details on how to do it soon, but please just register your interest here and we’ll contact you shortly.

Time Commitment

About 2 hrs per chapter

Target Completion Date

1 May 2019

Resources

  • None yet.

Team

Hugh McGuire

Coordinator

Dexter Xurukulasuriya

Contributor

Apurva Ashok

Contributor

dave.dillon@gcccd.edu

Coordinator

Allison Brown

Contributor

Virginia Desouky

Contributor

Breanne Scott

Contributor

RhetoricLee Speaking

Contributor

Lee Pierce

Contributor

Dave Dillon

Contributor

32 Comments

  1. There are 60 odd chapters. Please just join the project or activity and we’ll assign chapters soon.

  2. Hello! this is a perfect project for my students in public speaking. I would really love to help. I have 40 students in the spring and I would assign them this project to complete between February and March, giving me time to ask that they re-do any recordings that are sub-par. I would take care of scaffolding the delivery (rate, articulation, etc.) but if you have additional scaffolding materials please let me know. My preference would be that several of them would share a chapter but depending on how much interest you get I suppose I could have one person per chapter…I guess it depends on how long the chapters are. My name is lee pierce I am a visiting asst prof of communication at SUNY Geneseo and my email is piercel@geneseo.edu. Myself and my students look forward to hearing from you!

  3. Thank you so much Lee, great to have you on board!

  4. Hi All,

    A quick update: I just completed grading finals and am excited about diving into this project with a little more free time. I don’t expect you to work on this over the winter/holiday break, but if you may be able to let me know if you would be interested and willing to be a contributor and if so, what time frame you would be able to participate in, that will help with some of the planning and logistics.

    We would like to start to have some discussions about the scope, timeline, and details and prefer to do that within the Rebus Project forum rather than e-mail, so again if you are interested and willing, please let us know.

  5. Hi All,

    The Rebus Community and I are excited to soon begin work on a creative commons, openly licensed (CC-BY), and free audio version of the Blueprint for Success in College and Career OER textbook. We hope this project, adventure, and journey may become a model for additional audio versions of open textbooks.

    A few introductions about some of the folks that are helping with this project and/or have helped get it to this point: (I did my best on these – please forgive and correct any inadvertent omissions or errors):

    Hugh McGuire is the founder of LibriVox.org (free public domain audiobooks, made by volunteers from around the world), Pressbooks (an open source book publishing platform built on WordPress) and also Executive Director of the Rebus Foundation, a non-profit that is building the infrastructure to support books on the open web, by: building a new collaborative model for creating and publishing Open Educational Resources (OER), and building an open platform for scholarly reading.

    Dexter, Zoe, and Apurva are part of the Rebus Community team:

    Dexter works on fomenting community, diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are a gender-defiant, trans-feminine community organizer and meditation instructor with a long history of civil disobedience, direct-action activism, and human rights and environmental justice advocacy.

    Zoe worked in media communications and academic administration in New Zealand before completing the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University. Having gained an alternative view of academic publishing, she is now focused on creating value-exchange systems that support better, more democratic access to knowledge and learning.

    Apurva studied literature and marketing at McGill University and completed the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University. Her experience ranges across academic publishing, media, social justice, and volunteerism, and in 2015, she co-founded Harf, a student-run journal on South Asian studies. She strongly believes in translating knowledge among communities and regions, and in the value of greater critical thinking for all.

    Breanne Ahearn-Scott is Media Communications faculty at Grossmont College and teaches Audio Production. She has worked for CNN, has experience with a variety of audio projects, and may be able to assist with sound effects (I’m thinking possibly NPR type background sound effects or previous generation dramatization audio books).

    Christopher Kenneally is the host of a popular podcast “Beyond the Book,” and is a director of content marketing , and a published author.

    Jeremy Brieske is a co-producer of Beyond the Book and a recording engineer for Burst Marketing.

    Rob Simon has expertise in podcasting publishing and social and new media (Rob: please add or correct me.)

    Alexis Clifton administers and coordinates operations and the strategic direction for Open SUNY Textbooks and OER Services.

    Allison Brown is the Digital Publishing Services Manager at SUNY Geneseo.

    Thomas Priester is an associate dean of the Wyoming County Campus Centers in Arcade and Warsaw (NY), and edited the Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom OER text that is woven into the Blueprint OER text.

    Lee Pierce is a visiting assistant professor of communication at SUNY Geneseo, teaches a public speaking class, and has volunteered to have some of her students read some of the chapters for recordings.

    Collen Sanders is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Clackamas Community College in Oregon and with an interest in OER and this project.

    And shout outs to Jim Papageorge, my current Audio Production instructor at Grossmont College and Amy Hofer, Coordinator, Statewide Open Education Library Services in Oregon.

    Thanks to all! I am excited to get started and see what we may be able to accomplish.

  6. Hi Dave!~ When you have more time I’d love to hear more about the 2 hour time commitment. I’m not sure if that’s the time required to read the actual text at a rate of 160 words per minute or….? I’m trying to gauge how many total chapters I can do with 50 students, which is about what I have available for the project, depending on how many others you have interested in also doing the audio readings. Also I’m assuming that a rate of 160 is about what we’re aiming for but if you’d like it slower, please let me know.

  7. Rate of Speech for Audiobooks and Podcasting. One of the things that help individuals interested in reading audiobooks or doing any kind of audio recording is to think about rate of speech. The classic advice usually looks something like this (https://www.write-out-loud.com/speech-rate.html):

    —Slow speech is usually regarded as less than 110 wpm, or words per minute.

    —Conversational speech generally falls between 120 wpm at the slow end, to 160 - 200 wpm in the fast range.

    —People who read books for radio or podcasts are often asked to speak at 150-160 wpm.

    —Auctioneers or commentators who practice speed speech are usually in the 250 to 400 wpm range.

    However, this advice seems outdated to me (I don’t know a single person who would consider 160 words per minute a “fast” conversation) and, more importantly, doesn’t take into account the issue of articulation or enunciation, which is how crisp the words sound, how much of the consonants and spaces around each word are audible.

    To that end, I offer the following guidelines: first, never speak any faster than you can articulate. If your words run together, you run out of breath, you aren’t spitting a little on your Ps and Ts, then you’re going too fast. Second, aim roughly for 160-170 words per minute for a starting pace (just getting people to this rate is going to be challenging). That number is a little higher than the old recommendation but it’s based on a short project by Andrew Dlugan studying the speaking rates of some of the most popular TED Talks from…I think it was 2009?http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speaking-rate/. According to Dlugan, the average speaking rates for the 9 most popular talks was 163 words per minute, with Steve Jobs coming in around 158, which would be right at the slower end of my recommendation of 160-170.

    (For the record, I rehearsed my TEDx Talk at approximately 170-180 words per minute with 1-second pauses in between thought clusters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01sXUilXb9A)

    I also recommend the App “Speech PaceSetter” which costs about $9 but will allow you to copy and paste a chunk of text and set a highlight feature to a certain rate of speech. This will help you gauge if you are in the right range as you train your listening ear. The free version “Speech PaceSetter Lite” still helps you practice but you have to use pre-selected practice texts; you cannot insert your own. Another cool App is the Orai app, which was created recently and helps with things like pace, vocal inflection, etc. I believe it costs something like $3.99 per month, which I don’t think is worth what the App offers (also it tends to crash).

    Again, speaking rates aren’t the end-all-be-all of good public speaking but given that vocal fillers, slurred words, and lack of energy are the biggest issues for most people, all of those can’t be fixed if the rate of speech is too fast to begin with.

    If anyone knows of other ways to help train people to speak at a good rate, please let me know.

  8. Hey Dave,

    Three questions:

    1) for the sake of making the readings of the book as conversational as possible, how much flexibility is there in the recording person adapting micro-issues of style for the sake of improving deliverability? I’ll give you an example from the Words of Wisdom text:

    Here’s the original: My failures in high school led to only one acceptance from of all the colleges I applied to attend. Furthermore, I was not accepted to the school’s main campus, but to their branch campus. During my first semester there my effort wasn’t much better than in high school, but since my parents were now paying for my education I did enough work to avoid academic probation. It wasn’t until my second semester that I found my niche as a Religious Studies major and started getting good grades, moved to the main campus, and eventually graduated with honors.

    That is clunky to read out loud, verbatim. Making adaptations for a more conversational style would, without changing the content, make vast improvements to the conversational tone of the project. For example, the second sentence might look more like, “And even at the school that did take me, I wasn’t even accepted to their MAIN campus, only to their BRANCH campus!”

    2) Given that the chapters are pretty short, I’m comfortable assigning one student to each chapter—I think that will flow better—but had you thought about whether the students doing the chapters in pairs might be more fun? For the essays it probably wouldn’t work, given that they are single-author voiced, but for the chapters it might be more fun to treat them as a conversation between two readers rather than one listener just reading…also it would allow each person to only have to master delivering half the chapter and improve the overall quality of the project.

    3) To my previous point, will the students be able to introduce themselves at the start of each chapter? It might give them more of a sense of investment, the psychological act of attaching their name to the project. Also if they’re in pairs they’re going to need to say each other’s names or it will be weird. It doesn’t need to be much. They’d start the warmup just as the book does and then when they get to the central idea of the chapter, they’d say “My name is ___, some random fact like that they study English or whatever, and then go on to read the rest of the chapter.” I can help them with placement.

    Thanks!

    Lee

  9. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for all of the information. I can already tell that your expertise and experience are going to prove to be valuable!

    Re: the 2 hour time commitment, I think that may have been a somewhat arbitrary time chosen by Hugh to demonstrate that a small time commitment may suffice for reading/recording short chapters. @Hugh: Is that accurate?

    Re: the rate, it’s not my wheelhouse (at least not yet), but I listen to my podcasts at 1.5 speed and tend to talk fast, and would be happy to defer to your (or others) suggestions.

    I have a meeting with our accessibility expert on Wednesday and will ask about that and report back.

  10. 1) Flexibility: I appreciate the example and I would lean toward there being a fair amount of flexibility. I like the idea of a dramatization and adding sound effects when and if appropriate similar to NPR productions or Louis Lamour audiobooks. It is important to me to engage the reader/listener and I think it is important to make changes where logical to do so… if that means slight content changes, that is OK with me, so long as the integrity and content of the text remains. Self reminder to develop language for a disclaimer if content is not verbatim. [I like the idea of making final decisions on these sorts of things but would prefer to foster collaboration in considerations and decision making… so if anyone else would like to chime in with suggestions, please do so].

    This also fits with only including the main text and not the front matter or back matter in the audio version.

    2) I hadn’t thought about reading in pairs but I like the idea. Happy to have you run with that idea and see how it sounds.

    3) I like the introductions idea. Makes it more personal, gives credit/attribution, prefer to keep short but I like the inclusion of a random fact about themselves.

  11. @Lee: Follow ups:

    The main text is 119431 words / 456 print pages. I’m not sure how much is front matter and back matter but maybe @Apurva can assist with deducing that.

    I will be in Philadelphia in June ‘19 for the Textbook and Academic Author Association Conference. Probably not going to get to NY on that trip, but I do hope to meet you in person sometime.

  12. Things to consider for this project (happy to have any and all suggestions):

    Podcast format (one podcast per chapter) rather than traditional audio book.

    Capturing diversity by readers (attempt to match some gender/ethnicity similarities to SUNY Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom essays, if possible)

    Reading verbatim versus reading to maximize interest level (“abridged”) of reader/listener

    Recording environment - quality

    Editing

    Sound effects?

    Words per minute

    How to handle tables, videos, links, images, etc.

    Cultural Competency chapter (scheduled to be complete by May ‘19)

    Future - edits / revisions?

    Model for other open texts - audio versions (archive process, what we learned worked well and what we would not do again)…




     

  13. I’m also looking for grant funding (if possible) for this project so if you may know of any grants, mini grants, or leads for funding, please let me know.

    Thanks!

  14. @Lee @Hugh @Apurva @Zoe

    Hi All,

    For the Rebus folks, I have a few questions about how the forums and threads work and how they may be interconnected or not. I have found a few threads related to this project that are in different places. Would we want to cross reference them so that anyone interested has access to the current thread/posts?

    So far, I think we have three volunteers to record (Lee’s students in her Spring Public Speaking class, Hugh (Chapter 15), and me (still deciding which chapters I would like to read for). It can’t hurt to have Lee’s students record all of the chapters (if they are willing) and then compare and see what sounds best.

    Here is some information I received back from Will Pines, our Alternative Media/Assistive Technology Specialist in relation to a few of Lee’s questions and the previous post:

    160 words per minute is OK. The base can be what we want it to be, but we need to strive for consistency throughout the chapters.

    We discussed podcast navigation (i.e. for accessibility and screen readers). I believe apple and android podcasts allow for navigation through their native podcast apps (back button, play button, forward button)…

    A few related questions:

    How long does it take on average for a student to read a chapter - how does this translate for the length of the audio recording of a chapter?

    If a student wanted to access chapter 15, how would they do so? Previously, we talked about rolling these chapters out as podcasts. If they are all offered together, I would think it would then be easy to navigate to the chapter desired, as each chapter would be its own podcast and properly labeled. This does need more thought/design if the whole audio project will be released together.

    It was suggested that Pressbooks house the podcasts available for download, similar to how students can download .pdf, nook, kindle versions. Would that be possible?

    @Lee: It is OK to paraphrase to make the audio “flow better” and be more appealing to the reader/listener. I think that is going to be a really valuable decision. I/we do need to draft some disclaimer language that would be placed in the show notes and perhaps recorded at the beginning of each chapter explaining this.

    I am thinking I could do a short audio version of a summary of the front matter. I do not think the back matter needs to be in audio format.

    Thanks all,

    Dave

  15. Hi Dave and Lee,

    Great to see the progress being made on this audio project!

    Dave, to your question about the forum and threads – you’re welcome to cross-reference and include links to the Rebus Forum, where Hugh has posted information about this audio project (https://forum.rebus.community/topic/1295/record-a-chapter-for-the-blueprint-for-success-audiobook and https://forum.rebus.community/topic/1289/edu-audio-blueprint-for-success-in-college-and-career-lead-dave-dillon-grossmont-college).

    I’ll let Hugh chime in about your questions related to average times to read a chapter, and how this might translate to the length of the recording.

    Students can simply visit the webbook to access the chapter. Since the book is public, the can easily access the chapter(s) that they might be recording.

    I’d suggest thinking about other places to house the podcasts to download too, perhaps the Internet Archive? The reason being that if the audio files are fairly large and hosted in Pressbooks, these might affect page load times on the book, or increase the file size of certain digital formats.

    Hope this helps!

    Apurva

  16. Hello Apurva and Dave and everyone else!

    I never got an update that there were new messages on the thread! Apologies for being absentee. Progress is underway; here’s what I’ve got:

    1) I am in the process of testing various sound environments for the students. I record my podcast at home—which obviously won’t work for them—and once I settle on an location that will work for student access, I will make sample recordings at rates of 150, 160, and 170 words per minute and send them along. I’ll post them here as links and look for your feedback. then I will re-record with recommendations, post another draft for review, and so forth until we have a perfect sample that I can pass on to students.

    SUGGESTION: If we want to keep a relative consistency to rate of speech (which i think we need because what counts as “too fast” is wildly inaccurate to most of us speakers) I highly recommend the App for Apple Only, unfortunately, Speech PaceSetter. it allows performers to copy and paste their text, set a rate of speech, and the app helps you follow along. It is an excellent aid until people get the hang of what 1XX sounds like (or just use forever). Unfortunately only the $10 paid version allows that function. I am also looking into free web-based teleprompter options.

    2) I have 40 students lined up ready to go. students will sign up on a google doc for the chapter of their choice. I will ask them to try and match demographic/identities and note them on the google doc. Dave: I will share that with you to review before they start recording demos in case you want to move things around.

    3) They’re required to submit up to 2 1-minute demo drafts to me for approval. If they don’t get it right the first or second time, they aren’t part of the recording project. I assume we’ll end up with 25-30 good chapters. If we need more, I’d love to repeat this with my Advanced Professional Speaking online course in June.

    QUESTION: How much oversight would you like in terms of approving the drafts? Should I post just a few samples I consider passable and let ya’ll weigh in, to catch any last-minute issues? Or do you want to hear all of the demo recordings?

    QUESTION: some chapters use first-person language; do we want to keep that? maybe something in the intro like “I’m ABC a First Year Comm Major at SUNY Geneseo. I am reading an essay originally written by XYZ; when I use “I” pronouns I am speaking for XYZ not myself” or do we just switch to third person….? I honestly think it depends on the student’s energy and the nature of the essay. If it definitely feels older and formal: third person. If it can be made fresh and relatable with a new voice: first person.

    QUESTION: i don’t know the gendered language situation in this book but i’d like to look into making tweaks as necessary; “server” instead of “waitress”; “they” instead of “his” or “her” or “his/her”; the simple “you” instead of “you guys…” and so forth. again, i don’t even know if this is an issue but Geneseo is really tuned in to the inclusive language game—no way can i let this slide under the guise of professional authentication or whatever.

    3) Final recordings will be finished at the end of the semester and submitted. Students understand last approval goes to Dave and they’re not guaranteed inclusion in the audio book. However, I did tell them when it’s somewhere public, I’d pass on the chapters to them, if included, for their resume.

    So, pending any input from that post, I will be back in a couple of weeks with the samples!

    Lee

  17. Update:

    Here is the sign-up sheet (thanks to my awesome Co-Instructor Emily Ashworth for setting this up). Students will start signing up this week and then start working on their 1-minute demos for approval.)

  18. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for the update! Great to see this coming together.

    It would be great if we could find an alternative to the Speech PaceSetter app, as not everyone might be able to be able to afford or access it. Perhaps some type of metronome app or website could be used instead to help students maintain a certain pace?

    I’ll let Dave answer your questions about the demos and recording oversight. :)

    Re: first-person language, I think we should stick with a standard throughout the book (either first-person or third-person). I’m leaning more towards first-person with a short intro about the speaker, as you’ve described above. For students who are both reading the book and following along to the audio versions, it will be important that the two are the same. Let’s see what Dave has to say!

    I definitely agree with you regarding the tweaks to gendered language in the book! Perhaps you and Dave could coordinate to keep track of where language needs to be changed?

    Looking forward to hearing the samples soon!

    Lastly, and unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to view the sign up sheet in your previous comment – could you possibly repost it?

    Thanks!

    Apurva

  19. Hi Lee and Apurva,

    Thanks for your progress on this Lee! I am excited!

    I appreciate your thoughtful questions.

    Here’s a few answers inline in bold and italics:

    Mostly I want to let you run with your ideas and suggestions and your class!

    One idea I had a while back was to include (if possible) real life sound effects - like some NPR journalistic news stories or audio book dramatized sound effects. I don’t know how possible that is and if that would need to be recorded in real time with the chapter reading or if it could be piped in later… Can scrap that if it isn’t realistic and I don’t want it to hold you up - I have some local faculty that may be able to help/weigh in on that very soon….

    1) I am in the process of testing various sound environments for the students. I record my podcast at home—which obviously won’t work for them—and once I settle on an location that will work for student access, I will make sample recordings at rates of 150, 160, and 170 words per minute and send them along. I’ll post them here as links and look for your feedback. then I will re-record with recommendations, post another draft for review, and so forth until we have a perfect sample that I can pass on to students.

    SUGGESTION: If we want to keep a relative consistency to rate of speech (which i think we need because what counts as “too fast” is wildly inaccurate to most of us speakers) I highly recommend the App for Apple Only, unfortunately, Speech PaceSetter. it allows performers to copy and paste their text, set a rate of speech, and the app helps you follow along. It is an excellent aid until people get the hang of what 1XX sounds like (or just use forever). Unfortunately only the $10 paid version allows that function. I am also looking into free web-based teleprompter options.

    This one is out of my wheelhouse but I would agree with Apurva that a free app would be ideal…

    2) I have 40 students lined up ready to go. students will sign up on a google doc for the chapter of their choice. I will ask them to try and match demographic/identities and note them on the google doc. Dave: I will share that with you to review before they start recording demos in case you want to move things around.

    Terrific!

    3) They’re required to submit up to 2 1-minute demo drafts to me for approval. If they don’t get it right the first or second time, they aren’t part of the recording project. I assume we’ll end up with 25-30 good chapters. If we need more, I’d love to repeat this with my Advanced Professional Speaking online course in June.

    Sounds perfect! I have a cultural competency draft chapter scheduled to be done in the next week or so (need to see if I can get a few .pdfs in a more usable format to place into Pressbooks from original sources. Completion goal is May. Would be great to include this chapter with your Advanced course if possible.

    QUESTION: How much oversight would you like in terms of approving the drafts? Should I post just a few samples I consider passable and let ya’ll weigh in, to catch any last-minute issues? Or do you want to hear all of the demo recordings?

    I think a few samples works well. I don’t need to hear all of them and I think it would slow the process. I trust your judgement/decision making/experience/ear, and I think (hope) we’ll know based on a few samples if any changes need to be made…

    QUESTION: some chapters use first-person language; do we want to keep that? maybe something in the intro like “I’m ABC a First Year Comm Major at SUNY Geneseo. I am reading an essay originally written by XYZ; when I use “I” pronouns I am speaking for XYZ not myself” or do we just switch to third person….? I honestly think it depends on the student’s energy and the nature of the essay. If it definitely feels older and formal: third person. If it can be made fresh and relatable with a new voice: first person.

    Great question - Agree with you and Apurva - I think the goal is to strive for consistency and first person sounds better. Can play this by ear as it comes up but I would say go with first person and see how it goes…

    QUESTION: i don’t know the gendered language situation in this book but i’d like to look into making tweaks as necessary; “server” instead of “waitress”; “they” instead of “his” or “her” or “his/her”; the simple “you” instead of “you guys…” and so forth. again, i don’t even know if this is an issue but Geneseo is really tuned in to the inclusive language game—no way can i let this slide under the guise of professional authentication or whatever.

    FANTASTIC QUESTION! Thank you for pointing this out. I would prefer to change that language for all versions to be more inclusive. Not sure if it is feasible for these to be tracked - if they can be, and sent to me, I will make the changes for the web version immediately and the print version will reflect the changes when the next version is released.

    Would it be helpful to have a print copy of the text? If so, let me know and send an address and I will put one in the mail.

    3) Final recordings will be finished at the end of the semester and submitted. Students understand last approval goes to Dave and they’re not guaranteed inclusion in the audio book. However, I did tell them when it’s somewhere public, I’d pass on the chapters to them, if included, for their resume.

    Absolutely! Sounds great!

    So, pending any input from that post, I will be back in a couple of weeks with the samples.

    Lee

    Wonderful! So glad to be connected on this project with you!

  20. Hi everyone! Breanne Scott here from Grossmont College. Dave has asked that I work on the editing and mixing of student audio that is being recorded. Right now I’m still getting my bearings and reading through everyone’s comments. Let me just start with the fact that I’m super excited to be apart of this project. With that said, here’s what is best for the producing and mixing of all this... I would say don’t worry about sound effects or ambient noise right now. All of that is added in post production by the producer. I can give each area that Dave wishes an NPR feel and then some. 


    As for the pace of the WPM’s I would think sticking to conversational (160 wpm) would be best if your going to have more than one student reading a section. If it’s a single student reading an essay or particular area then you can speed up the speaking to whatever you like that is still understandable for the listener. Also, inflection is SUPER important when it comes keeping your listeners attention. You don’t want them to become bored at any point (think Ben Stein saying “Bueller”). 


    As for recording the students, it would be best if they each use the same equipment (mic, software to record, mini control board, etc). Wherever they are recording it needs to be somewhere where there is no surrounding noise of any kind, with carpeted floors. The less possibilities of an echo, the better. I can create echo and ambient sound in post production, however it’s very difficult to get rid of it. 


    Once Dave approves the recordings he can send them over to me to begin editing (if that works easier for everyone). The one thing I will add is, DONT edit anything yourselves (well that’s more for the students to know). It’s best to just send the complete, raw audio, including bloopers for several reasons. Next up, once the students are done recording, the best way to save the audio is via a .WAV file. It can be Dropbox’d to me or whatever works easiest for you guys. 


    Is there anything else I’m missing? If so, just let me know and we can figure it all out. Again, I’m super excited and can’t wait to get started. 

  21. Hi Breanne, it’s great to have you on board – welcome! Thanks a tonne for these tips. I’m learning so much about audio recording through this project, and might come to you with more questions as we get on!

  22. Hello everyone,

    Breanne, great to hear from you. I like your advice about wpm. I need to be specific with the students so I worry about telling them as amateurs “conversational as long as people can understand.” So, ultimately, I’m going to settle on a hard number just for the sake of consistency. I’m leaning toward 160 wpm with a .5 second pause in between sentences (this is an estimate but the students are using Speech PaceSetter so it’s easy enough to dial this in with some precision). However, I’m including a link here to a google drive folder where you can listen to my sample recordings for the first 1-2 paragraphs of the introduction at 150, 160, and 170 wpm. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RFhjDJkTNFoFx41XCkSpwmTrPMe-KRmV?usp=sharing

    I welcome everyone’s feedback on the quality of the audio (notice that i screw up at the end of some of the files; that is on purpose so I can show students a few editing/recording things like not clicking the space bar like they’re dropping a hammer).

    Also please do not have ANY concerns about critiquing my presentation of this material. I am not a recording professional. I love to improve as much as anyone else so anything you’d like to bring to my attention I’m happy to to re-format. I want these samples to be perfect for the students (it’s also great for myself as professional development). So bring on any critiques that you have!

    This process and Breanne joining us (hurray!) have raised a few additional questions that I’d like everyone to consider:

    1. Breanne: it’s likely that each chapter will be a series of files that need to be spliced together. Would you like that done by my students and then the chapters sent to you whole or would you like to be sent a folder for each chapter containing the parts that would make up the chapter following post-production? Obviously, the second option is less work for me but could be very time consuming for you).

    2. Breanne: do you have a preference for how the files are exported from GarageBand or Audacity to you? The options I’m offered are MP3, AAC, AIFF, and WAVE at 4 quality levels: highest, high, medium, and low. I assume we don’t want medium or low. Any preference on anything else?

    3. Dave/Authors: Typically audio books read the front matter as the chapter and then just the title of each chapter for each chapter’s file. For example, for the Introduction the first word out of the presenter’s mouth would be “Introduction” and then they’d just go forward and read. However, if these are going to be posted as independent files, like a podcast, it seems that we’ll need more than that…at minimum the title of the book + the title of the chapter (which is how I setup the sample files I’ve submitted here) but what about the authorship? The publishing permissions? I’d love someone to write out the script they’d like to kick off each chapter so it’s consistent. I will also ask my students to insert their own information early in the chapter because I think it’s a nice touch (I demonstrated that in the 170wpm chapter sample but not the other two).

    Having a great time with this. It is going to be absolutely revolutionary for my public speaking students. When we’re done here, who wants to help me write an OER Public Speaking Textbook with audio and video modules?!?!?

    Also Dave I’ve sent the Book over to our AOP/EOP program for them to evaluate to potentially use with their students coming to campus for the first time. They are especially excited that there will be an audio version that will have chapters read by students of color (I am very fortunate that I have several students of color in public speaking class this semester cause #geneseosowhite)

    Lee

  23. Hi again,

    Quick update. I just re-listened to all of my sample files (i included up to 180) and honestly they all sound fine. I think the students could really record anywhere in the 150-180 range, provided they can articulate the ENTIRE way through the chapter. I can articulate at 180, so I would likely record at 180. If they can’t articulate at 180, then they’ll need to drop down to a pace where they can articulate.

    I really thought listening to 180 would be overwhelming but given the conversational writing of the book, it doesn’t bother me. I’ll wait to hear what ya’ll have to say!

  24. Hi Lee,

    Sounds like you and your students are rolling and I am so appreciative!

    Re: Dave/Authors: Typically audio books read the front matter as the chapter and then just the title of each chapter for each chapter’s file. For example, for the Introduction the first word out of the presenter’s mouth would be “Introduction” and then they’d just go forward and read. However, if these are going to be posted as independent files, like a podcast, it seems that we’ll need more than that…at minimum the title of the book + the title of the chapter (which is how I setup the sample files I’ve submitted here) but what about the authorship? The publishing permissions? I’d love someone to write out the script they’d like to kick off each chapter so it’s consistent. I will also ask my students to insert their own information early in the chapter because I think it’s a nice touch (I demonstrated that in the 170wpm chapter sample but not the other two).

    I’d like to get @Zoe and @Apurva’s opinion on this, but at the moment I would lean towards:

    This is an audio version of Chapter X from the Blueprint for Success in College and Career Open Educational Resource textbook, which is curated by Dave Dillon and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. [And then I think] it would be wise to have the “Attributions and Licenses” field at the end of each chapter read aloud and then start reading the chapter. Please let me know what anyone else thinks/suggests. I think it is a matter of using proper attribution practices and being thorough versus being too lengthy and potentially losing readers before they even get started. Another option is to have the reader introduce themself and the chapter and then read the licensing information at the end after the conclude reading the chapter. I’m going to see if we get responses on that and then make a decision by the end of this week (if that works for you Lee).

  25. Also resurfacing this question:

    How do we handle the reading of a link to a video or link to audio, a table, graph, or image?

    @Hugh @Zoe @Apuvra: Any suggestions?

    In the off line .pdf or print version, there is language describing there is a video with a url rather than a link. I think we can be a little more brief with that and don’t need to include the url, rather just reference Appendix B (Multimedia links) at the beginning of the chapter (if they include videos).

    For the tables, graphs, and images, I think it best for the reader to attempt to describe them. There is alt text for those, and I am assuming should be read. @Apurva, what would be the best way to give Lee access to alt text for all of the images/photos/tables, etc.?

    @Lee: Perhaps you could conduct a student opt in poll where anyone interested would share their contact information. Perhaps students might be interested in being contacted in the future for revisions, or other opportunities?

    What else should be be thinking for the future? Downstream users/other adopters/adadpters/revisions?

    Thanks all!

  26. @Lee: I just listened to the samples and I think they sound great too! @Breanne: What do you think? I couldn’t tell much difference between 150/160/170. I did notice 180 sounded a little faster - and potentially too fast for students who may need more time to process, especially some ESL students. That stated, personally, I listen to my podcasts at 1.5 speed so I like to listen to it fast. I’m not a good judge of how the content sounds at different speeds though because I am so familiar with it. I’m thinking about polling some of my students and seeing what they think. Thanks Lee!

  27. @dave. I don’t like 1.5x you and the students do. So let’s cap it at 170 wpm which allows for 1x listeners to be comfortable and 1.5x listeners to do their thing. happy to ask students to opt-in for future opportunities. I’ll leave you with a list at some point and contact info. Regarding visuals/links: alt text would be helpful but I can also discuss how to adapt images in the book to narration; that’s something the narrators should be able to figure out. For attribution I’m partial to this suggestion: ‘have the reader introduce themself and the chapter and then read the licensing information at the end after the conclude reading the chapter. 

    @breanne: I will tell them .wav files. When you say “It’s best to just send the complete, raw audio, including bloopers for several reasons,” does that mean you want all of the pieces of a single file separately? what if it a particular student records their chapter in 10 separate files…obviously I don’t want them taking too many breaks but they’re going to wind up taking some. Do you just want them shared in folders corresponding to the chapter or do you want those spliced together so that you get one file per chapter?

    @apurva here is the link to the sign-in again. is set so that “anyone with the link can edit” so you should have access: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jlwd4OR-cvrldeiszqTUZ5PehJniiDqfR9TmOL9OTII/edit?usp=sharing

    Re: Speech PaceSetter. I’d love to find a free app and preferably one that is multi-platform. It doesn’t exist. On my view, novice public speakers can’t use metronomes effectively although a metronome that works by highlighting text, rather than making a tick-tick sound would work, I’ve just never found one. Our OER office is working to get me a few ipads on hold in our library with the software installed. Students will be able to take out the ipads and use the software that way. That will make it accessible without cost, at least, though still not ideal. If anyone is a grant-writing master, I’d be happy to work on a project to create an open-source web-based service that does what Speech PaceSetter does because it’s valuable and irritatingly unavailable.

    I’ll wait to hear more otherwise students are beginning to send in sample files and I’ll report back.

    Lee

  28. Hi Lee,

    My apologizes on the delay of this reply. I’ve been sub’ing for another professor and of course during that time I became sick. I’m just now playing catch up on, well everything. Here are the answers to each of your questions including the preferred WPM. I listened to each of your files and personally I love the 170 but I worry that will be too fast for students so I think sticking with 160WPM is best. As for sound quality, I loved the recordings you did especially on the 160 but I would make sure each of the files is saved as a .WAV not a .MP3. You can hear a little distortion in MP3 files and we’re trying to stay clear of that. Below are the answers to the rest of the questions.

    1. When you say “spliced together” what exactly are we talking about? One section of the chapter versus a different section of the same chapter? If that’s the case, I would simply break down each section in the recording title. For instance, if Jane is recording pages 1-5 of chapter one and Tony is recording pages 6-10 I would have Jane title her recording “Chapter 1, part 1” and I would have Tony title his recording “Chapter 1, part 2” etc.

    2. I would have you or your students send the recording in a .WAV format. I’m not sure what the “high” and “highest” quality differences are. Are you talking microphone levels or is it something else? If it’s just in general I would say be cautious and go “high.” Better to be safe than sorry.

    3. When I say “It’s best to just send the complete, raw audio, including bloopers for several reasons” I mean I would tell the students to turn on the mic, press record and just go. One long track is fine with the bloopers and hiccups on it. If they accidentally stop the recording and have to create a new track then I would have them title that track “Chapter 1, part 1, take 2” or something like that. Think of it as an easy way for me to identify that they started a new track and the second track continues the recording that they are presenting.
    The neat thing about Audacity is they can hit the PAUSE button on a recording, take a break and come back to hit the PAUSE button again and pick up where they left off. Either way works, as long as they identify how they want it to go. (Can you tell I LOVE Audacity over Garageband? heehee)

    If you have a question that needs to be answered immediately or I’m taking too long to respond (it does happen when I’m traveling) feel free to give me a call on my cell, 1-760-521-7874. We can figure out what works best and then let everyone know here what we decided. :)

  29. Hi everyone,

    I’m going to respond to comments from people in the order that they were posted, so sorry if this gets a bit long!

    Dave: Regarding your suggestion for the text to be read at the start of each chapter, I’ve made some minor tweaks, below.
    "This is an audio version of Chapter X from the Blueprint for Success in College and Career textbook, curated by Dave Dillon. This textbook is an Open Educational Resource and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” This could be followed by the speakers’ personal information.

    Another option is to have the reader introduce themself and the chapter and then read the licensing information at the end after the conclude reading the chapter. I’m going to see if we get responses on that and then make a decision by the end of this week (if that works for you Lee).

    I’m leaning towards this suggestion, and I see that Lee is too! So let’s go ahead with this.

    How do we handle the reading of a link to a video or link to audio, a table, graph, or image?

    We could use the language in the print PDF version for links to multimedia elements. For images, I like Lee’s idea of discussing how to adapt images in the book to narration. I agree also that the best thing to do for tables or graphs might be to have the speaker describe them as best they can.

    What would be the best way to give Lee access to alt text for all of the images/photos/tables, etc.?

    I’m not too sure here - we could give Lee access to the books as an “Author” in Pressbooks, so she can access the Media Library which contains the images and alt. text. Alternatively, if you Dave had a spreadsheet of all the images with corresponding alt. text, we could share that with Lee. Do the others have any suggestions?



    Lee: The recordings sounded so good! I thought I would prefer the faster wpms, but actually found 150 and 160 the easiest to follow. So I think your plan to cap at 170wpm will accommodate all kinds of listeners. :) Thanks also for sharing the file! So many students have signed up already, which is fantastic!

    Speech PaceSetter. I’d love to find a free app and preferably one that is multi-platform. It doesn’t exist. On my view, novice public speakers can’t use metronomes effectively although a metronome that works by highlighting text, rather than making a tick-tick sound would work, I’ve just never found one. Our OER office is working to get me a few ipads on hold in our library with the software installed. Students will be able to take out the ipads and use the software that way. That will make it accessible without cost, at least, though still not ideal. If anyone is a grant-writing master, I’d be happy to work on a project to create an open-source web-based service that does what Speech PaceSetter does because it’s valuable and irritatingly unavailable.

    Hopefully in the future we can stumble across (or maybe you could create) a free, multi-platform app that does all we need. Until then, it’s good to hear that your OER office is assisting to get some iPads at the library with the software that students can use. This project is becoming more collaborative, with other people at your campus getting involved, so that is nice to see! If it works out, we should definitely include them in the acknowledgements!

    Breanne: No need to apologize! Hope you are feeling better now. Audacity sounds very cool indeed – I’ll take your word for it over GarageBand! I’ll leave it to Lee to answer your questions.

    I look forward to hearing the student samples as they come in. :) Thanks everyone!

    Best,

    Apurva

  30. Hello everyone.

    @Apurva any access you can give me to the media files, etc. would be great but for now I’ve just got students strategizing how to adapt the visual elements to the narration

    @dave have we settled on a final script for each chapter? I think we left it off with each student doing a quick intro, then their chapter as written with slight modifications, then ending with the licensing blurb you posted above.

    Once I hear back on this issue I will record the sample introduction and post it so everyone can compare/contrast to the written/visual material in the actual book and let me know of any issues. That will serve as the final model for the project for the students, pending any unique issues to their particular chapters.

    I am going through right now and approving/not approving their one minute demos. Anyone but perhaps especially @breanne is welcome to hop into the “approved” folder and let me know if you have concerns about any of the files i approved. I already know some of them posted files in .mp3 rather than .wav and I’ve triple confirmed with them that these need to be 24 bit .wav. I also put a giant sign above the recording station “EXPORT YOUR FILES IN WAV”

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-W033su7T6Ckas5r2JOQeA-SaTJsmxef

    I didn’t approve as many as I’d like. My hunch is that, despite my best efforts to be encouraging, several people won’t follow through on the second drafts. So it might take us another semester, maybe even two, until we’ve got all 60 chapters finished.

    Onward and upward!

    Lee

  31. @Apurva any access you can give me to the media files, etc. would be great but for now I’ve just got students strategizing how to adapt the visual elements to the narration

    @Lee, I’ve given you access to the book (https://press.rebus.community/blueprint2/) as an Author, which means you should be able to log in and view the media library. Please note that you will not be able to add/edit/delete posts in the book created by others or manage users and settings. You should receive an email confirmation of this at your Geneseo email address.

    I didn’t approve as many as I’d like. My hunch is that, despite my best efforts to be encouraging, several people won’t follow through on the second drafts. So it might take us another semester, maybe even two, until we’ve got all 60 chapters finished.

    That’s no worries at all! Slow and steady progress :)


  32. @Lee, Great progress! Yes, you have the script correct. Student does a quick intro, reads chapter (I’m all for any and all modifications @Lee suggests in the best interest of the audio medium/accessibility/gender equity language, etc.). I’d like to edit the main version regarding the gender language so if you or students may have the capacity to note changes and send them to me, I will make those changes in the digital and for print versions as well. Other slight modifications are fine and will be covered under a general disclaimer stating that there were slight changes made with intent for the best experience of the listener. And licensing info at the end.

    One thing I forgot to send previously - if it may help - is the language Rebus made a standard of for the downloadable off line .pdf or print version regarding embedded videos: “A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://press.rebus.community/blueprint2/?p=281” which could be modified in the audio version to read: “A video (ideal to have the title of the video read) appears here in the digital and print text. It can be viewed online in the digital text.” (I don’t think we need to include the url in the audio version). We can include the link to the digital text and the multimedia appendix page in the show notes for each chapter/podcast.

    Definitely OK to take another semester or two to “get it right.” Would rather have high quality than rush it just to get it done and compromise quality. Let me know if you think me making a video that you could show to your class - encouraging your students with the project might help. If so, happy to do so.

    It’s exciting to see it starting to come together. Thanks Lee!