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Universities Add Voice to Blended, Distance Learning

A number of higher education institutions have recently added voice capabilities to their online learning programs, including blended and fully online courses, according to Wimba, an education technology developer. The company said that eight universities and colleges have augmented their Collaboration Suites with Wimba Voice implementations.

Wimba Voice adds voice and audio capabilities for online courses, including import and export of MP3 and WAV audio, and can be used for podcasting applications. Voice messages can be embedded in course pages and in threaded discussions, as well as live group discussions.

According to Wimba, some of the colleges and universities that have recently signed on to use Voice include Arizona State University; Trinity College; University of Illinois, Chicago; the Virginia Community College System; University of Sheffieldl University of Waterloo; University of Western Ontario and Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry; and Western State College.

Arizona State had previously been using Voice in one of its schools but has since expanded the implementation.

"We’ve been using Wimba Voice for a number of years in the School of International Letters & Cultures to add audio support to our hybrid language courses," said Peter Lafford, director of the SILC Language Computing Laboratory for Arizona State.  "We were so pleased with the results that we encouraged the University Technology Office to license it and make it available to the rest of the university."

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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