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For this assignment, we needed to produce an Instructional Podcast describing a topic to the audience. I decided to draw on my previous experience working with the University of Limerick’s student-run clubs and societies. I developed a podcast outlining the procedures which are used by committees when handling complaints of bullying, harassment or misconduct.
I chose to include this project as part of this portfolio as I believe it demonstrates my ability to design a set of instructions, my technical writing technique and my audio-editing skills.
To create the audio, I needed to condense the procedures (which the organisation provides in long paragraph form (UL Clubs and Societies 2018)) into manageable chunks (Markel 2012) for the listener. Then, I used these steps to formulate a script for the material. In the script, I was conscious of providing clear breaks between sections so that the learner would know when the topic had changed.
I also needed to be very considerate of the length. We were restricted to a time-limit of ten minutes. Because of this limit, I needed to ensure steps were delivered concisely and that I included no extraneous information. I further needed to be careful that I did not assume that the listener would have prior knowledge of the subject, meaning I focused on making the podcast a stand-alone resource that could inform the student about the topic in question.
I completed the recording using Audacity, an open-source audio editor commonly used to create podcasts. I had previous experience using this software from my time working with UL’s student radio station. Nonetheless, I still learned several new techniques during this assignment. I became more adept at working with multiple tracks on the timeline, mixing between the recording of my voice and the included sound effects and music. I gained experience with several new editing tools, including learning to “clean” the audio to remove background noise, to adjust the speed of isolated elements of the recording and to make the audio levels consistent throughout. Furthermore, I improved my abilities in general audio-editing. Because of the strict time-limit, I had to tightly edit the audio so as not to exceed it.
Overall, I enjoyed producing this podcast. Delivering instructions in this manner was a new experience for me, and I believe the skills I acquired and developed during this work will be valuable in industry should an employer be interested in exploring Instructional Podcasts.
You can listen to the podcast using the player below. Alternatively, you can download the file.
You can read the podcast’s script in the viewer below, or download a full copy.
Markel, M. H. (2012) Technical communication, 10th ed. Boston, Mass: Bedford/St. Martins.
UL Clubs and Societies (2018), Common Constitution for University of Limerick Clubs & Societies, UL Wolves Clubs & Societies, available: https://cdn.ulwolves.ie/docs/com_resources/UL%20Wolves%20-%20Common%20Constitution%20(2018%20revision).pdf [accessed 27 Nov 2019].