Voice Interaction Online
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This chapter examines the potential for voice activities to enhance online learning. Although research related to online writing tools (such as e-mail, discussion threads, blogs, and wikis) is growing and the use of synchronous and asynchronous voice tools (such as internet phone, VoiceThread and multimodal web conferencing) has developed rapidly, little is known about the effects of systematically implementing these voice tools in formal educational settings (Millard, 2010). This chapter first provides a brief overview of the available online voice systems, the design principles of online voice interaction, and prior research and frameworks regarding voice interaction in online and blended learning. It then reports on a study of a systematic application of an asynchronous voice recording system integrated into a learning management system in an undergraduate blended-learning English course. The research found that the voice system was adequately usable and was associated with a positive change in the students‘ perceptions of speaking English over the semester. Half of the students were reluctant to talk to an online program, whereas the other half were willing to do so. Regular use of online voice assignments encouraged high attendance rates for the in-person classes. This suggests the potential power of asynchronous online voice interaction to help support students‘ learning.