The Sound of Learning – Sound Effects in Course Design

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Learning designers sometimes struggle with the use of sound effects in online learning resources. The right sound effects, at the right time, can add value to e-learning by adding emphasis. Sound can also help keep learners’ attention. One area that I’ve seen sound effects used really well is to indicate correct or incorrect answers in quizzes. Who doesn’t like applause, right!

For this weeks Elearning Challenge Course Starters: Construction Theme E-Learning Templates #183 I decided to play around with sounds other than the usual bells, whistles, and buzzers. The goal I set for myself was to create a theme, that included sound effects, that would be familiar and comfortable to folks in the construction industry.

My thinking on this is that a lot of people do not love taking courses. I know. that fact shocks me too! So the more comfortable we can make the learning environment, the less our participants will stress, and less stress = better learning.

Click the launch button to open the Storyline in a new window.

Launch Presentation

The challenge was finding the sounds I wanted, for free. I considered recording my own effects but as time was issue I went to They have tons of great sound effects in the public domain, including the ones I used, or licenced under Creative Commons attribution. I also pondered editing and enhancing the sound effects I found – which would have been really easy using Audacity. In the end I decided to just use the original downloads.

What wasn’t a challenge was finding the video and other graphics – they are all from the content that comes with Storyline 360.